Thursday’s U.S. House of Representatives vote overwhelmingly in favor of legislation that would allow the Defense Budget to reach a new record of $858 billion in next year. This is $45 billion more than was proposed by President Joe Biden.
By 350 to 80, the House approved the compromise version the National Defense Authorization Act (or NDAA), an annual bill that must be passed. This is far more than the required two-thirds majority in order for it to be sent for a vote in Senate.
Fiscal 2023 NDAA allows for $858 billion of military spending. It also includes a 4.6% increase in pay for troops and funding for weapons purchases. Taiwan will be supported against aggression by Russia and China.
In a speech, Representative Adam Smith (Democrat chairman of the House Armed Services Committee) stated that “this bill is Congress exercising his authority to authorize, do oversight” and urged support.
It is one of few important bills that Congress passes every year. Members of Congress can use it as a platform for a variety of initiatives.
After months of negotiation between Democrats in Congress and Republicans in Senate, this year’s bill required a two thirds majority to pass the House.
Many Republicans demanded that the fiscal 2023 NDAA include a provision requiring Secretary of Defense to revoke a mandate requiring members of the armed force receive COVID-19 vaccines.
The agreement provides Ukraine with at least $800million in security aid for next year, and also includes provisions that will help Taiwan to withstand tensions from China.
This bill provides additional funds for the development of new weapons and systems, including Lockheed Martin Corp.’s F-35 fighter jets (LMT.N), and General Dynamics ships (GD.N).
Next week the Senate will pass the NDAA, which it will send to President Joe Biden for him to sign.
The NDAA does not mean that spending is done. While authorization bills are used to create programs, Congress must also pass appropriations legislations to grant the government legal authority for spending federal funds.
The leaders of Congress have yet to agree on an appropriations bill next year.