The United States Senate approved this Thursday a new defense budget worth of 858,000 million dollarswhich includes salary increases for troops and eliminates the obligation to be vaccinated against COVID-19.
The call National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA, for its acronym in English) must be signed by the US president, Joe Bidenfor it to enter into force.
The support in the Senate was majority: 83 legislators voted in favorwhile only 11 did it against.
The new spending package is a 10% higher than last yearThat was from 778,000 million dollars.
Of the 857.900 million dollars approved, 816,700 are directed to the Defense Department and 30,300 to national security programs.
The agreed funds add 45,000 million to the amount initially requested by Biden to deal with the effect of inflation and accelerate the implementation of the National Defense Strategy.
Thus, the bill authorizes 12,600 million to deal with the impact of the rising prices in purchases, others 3.8 billion to counteract this effect in the projects of military construction Y 2,500 million in the acquisitions of gas.
This year’s agreement, according to the text of the proposal itself, focuses on the “vital” priorities of the country in defensive matters, including “strategic competition with China and Russia, disruptive technologies such as hypersonic weapons, artificial intelligence or the modernization of aviation, ships and defense vehicles”.
The text also approves a 4.6% increase in the salary of workers in the Defense Departmentboth civil and military.
What was agreed this Thursday also expands the Initiative Assistance for the Security of Ukraine and authorizes 800 million additional dollarss for fiscal year 2023, which represents an increase of 500 million compared to the budget requested by Biden.
Likewise, it reaffirms that the commitment of the United States Congress with the NATO is “iron” and emphasizes the importance of maintaining a unified response to the “unfair” Russian war in Ukraine and other common security challenges.
This Wednesday, the United States House of Representatives agreed to extend the government budget for another week, which would avoid a shutdown of the Administration, to give legislators time to reach an agreement to finance fiscal year 2023.
The measure will now go to the Senate, where it must be approved before Friday to ensure that the government continues to function.
The agreement extends to December 23th the current government budget.
To finance the fiscal year 2023which runs from October 1, 2022 to September 30 of the following year, it is necessary to approve a bill known as a bus.
Some Republican lawmakers have said they prefer to continue postponing debate on the new bill until next year, when their caucus recovers the control of the House of Representativesin the hope that this will give them more bargaining power.
On this occasion, however, nine Republican representatives joined the Democrats in the vote, which went ahead on Wednesday night by 224 votes in favor to 201 against.
Since 1976, when new budget laws were passed, the US Administration has run out of funds 20 times, although most of the time it has been for only one day. The longest closure, of 35 days, occurred during the Presidency of Republican Donald Trump (2017-2021).
(With information from EFE)