The US Senate on Wednesday voted in favor of the National Defense Authorization Act, authorizing $770 billion for defense spending — $25 billion more than what US President Joe Biden had asked for.
The bill is now awaiting final approval from the president, who is expected to sign it into law.
The Senate approved the bill with a vote of 88-11, getting thumping support from both sides of the aisle. The House of Representatives had already cleared the bill by 363-70 last week.
A major part of the funds is meant for the Pentagon ($740 billion) while a significant portion is going to the Department of Energy ($27 billion). The bill also authorizes $9.9 billion for defense needs outside the legislation’s traditional jurisdiction.
The bill further includes a 2.7 percent increase in pay for the troops and increased procurement of aircraft and navy ships. It allocates $300 million for the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative, which provides support to Ukraine’s armed forces, $4 billion for the European Defense Initiative, and $150 million for Baltic security cooperation.
The bill also mandates setting up a commission to assess the failures of the US’ two-decade war in Afghanistan which ended with the Taliban’s takeover of the war-torn country in August of this year.
Besides this, it includes strategies for dealing with geopolitical threats, especially from Russia and China. It also contains $7.1 billion for the Pacific Deterrence Initiative.