Politics

Senate passes $858 billion annual defense spending bill, reverses COVID vaccine mandate for military

The Senate has passed legislation authorizing a massive $858 billion annual defense spending, which is $45 billion more than President Joe Biden proposed.

The bill includes $10 billion in security aid for Taiwan, $800 million for Ukraine, and $6 billion for the European Deterrence Initiative, which will increase the readiness of U.S. forces in Europe.

In addition, the spending bill authorizes $211 billion for personnel & health, $19 billion for military construction, $30 billion for nuclear programs, and provides a 4.6% raise for service members, according to CBS News.

The bill will also fund the development of hypersonic weapons and purchase additional weapons systems.

CBS reported that the bill ends the COVID vaccine mandate for service members. As of now, those who aren’t vaccinated are not allowed to deploy. 

After the usual back and forth between Republicans and Democrats, the Senate eventually passed the National Defense Authorization Act by an overwhelming 83-11 bipartisan majority. The bill also received bipartisan support in the House as well, where it was passed last week.

ARTICLE: PAUL MURDOCH

MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE

PHOTO CREDITS: NEW YORK TIMES

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Paul, 37, is from Scotland in the UK, but currently lives and works in Bangkok. Paul has worked in different industries such as telemarketing, retail, hospitality, farming, insurance, and teaching, where he works now. He teaches at an all-girls High School in Bangkok. “It’s a lot of work, but I love my job.” Paul has an active interest in politics. His reason for writing for FBA is to offer people the facts and allow them to make up their own minds. Whilst he believes opinion columns have their place, it is also important that people can have accurate news with no bias.

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