Friday, February 3, 2023

US House of Representatives to increase defense spending by 8% by 2023

Washington, 8 December The lower house of the United States this Thursday approved an 8% increase in the defense budget for the year 2023, worth about $858,000 million, and also the obligation to vaccinate against COVID-19 for the military. cancels.

Deputies ratified the so-called National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) with 350 votes in favor and 80 against, after which the text will continue its parliamentary process in the Senate before being ratified by President Joe Biden.

The final budget increases to $857,900 million, of which $816,700 is directed to the Department of Defense and $30,300 to the Department of Energy for national security programs.

The agreed amount adds 45,000 million to the amount initially requested by Biden to counter the impact of inflation and accelerate the implementation of the national defense strategy.

Thus, the bill authorizes 12,600 million in purchases to counter the effect of price increases, 3,800 million in military construction projects to counteract that effect, and 2,500 million in fuel acquisitions.

This year’s agreement, according to it, focuses on the country’s “critical” defense priorities, including “strategic competition with China and Russia, hypersonic weapons, artificial intelligence or disruptive technologies such as modernization of aviation, ships and defense vehicles”.

The text also approves a 4.6% increase in the salaries of Defense Department employees, both civilian and military.

The agreement reached this Thursday also expands the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative and authorizes an additional $800 million for fiscal year 2023, representing a $500 million increase over the budget requested by Biden.

It also reaffirms that the US Congress’ commitment to NATO is “iron-clad” and stresses the importance of maintaining a unified response to Russia’s “unjust” war in Ukraine and other common security challenges.

Those challenges include a request that Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin facilitate a strategy to increase cooperation with allies and partners in the Middle East to counter “threats from Iran” and groups linked to that country.

The defense budget is usually approved every year with bipartisan support, which forces concessions.

For John Kirby, spokesman for the National Security Council, canceling troops’ obligation to vaccinate against Covid is a mistake: “Making sure they are ready to defend this country remains a priority and mandate of the president.” That’s exactly what he did.” Statements collected by The Washington Post.

Nation World News Desk
Nation World News Desk
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