Sunday, April 14, 2024

Congress passes $886 billion defense bill, Ukraine aid, awaits Biden’s signature

Immigration News

Fidel Rahmati
Fidel Rahmatihttps://www.khaama.com
Fidai Rahmati is the editor and content writer for Khaama Press. You may follow him at Twitter @FidelRahmati
Image/Reuters

The U.S. House of Representatives recently voted in favor of a defense policy bill, as reported by Reuters. This bill encompasses a substantial $886 billion for military spending and establishes policies, including aid for Ukraine and strategies against China in the Indo-Pacific region.

Garnering bipartisan support, the House passed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) with a 310 to 118 vote. Reuters reported that this majority exceeded the two-thirds requirement, propelling the bill towards Presidential approval.

Distinct from typical appropriations bills, the NDAA plays a critical role in authorizing various military aspects. These include significant troop pay raises, this year being 5.2%, and funding for military hardware like ships, ammunition, and aircraft.

The NDAA, a consistently passed legislation, serves as a platform for diverse congressional initiatives. It draws the attention of major defense companies like Lockheed Martin and RTX Corp, who benefit from Defense Department contracts.

This year’s NDAA, spanning nearly 3,100 pages, marks a historic budget increase to $886 billion. This represents a 3% rise from the previous year, maintaining a 63-year tradition of annual NDAA passages.

The final NDAA version excluded controversial social issues such as abortion access and transgender service member treatment, previously included in the House’s Republican-majority draft. These exclusions helped avoid legislative derailment.

The Senate, under Democratic control, also passed the NDAA with a decisive bipartisan majority. Additionally, the bill includes an extension for a contentious domestic surveillance program, necessitating future congressional decisions.

Despite challenges, the NDAA successfully merged House and Senate versions into a unified bill. It extends the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative, though the proposed $61 billion for Ukraine faces congressional hurdles, highlighting partisan disagreements over funding and immigration policies.

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