The US Senate has approved a record $858 billion defense budget. This is $45 billion more than President Joe Biden’s proposed defense budget. It also includes some money as aid to Ukraine and Taiwan.
The US Senate on Thursday approved a record $858 billion in military spending next year. The amount is $45 billion more than President Joe Biden’s proposed defense budget, while also eliminating the mandatory Covid vaccine mandate for the military.
It has been sent to President Biden for his approval. “We need to prioritize defense, that’s all,” said Jim Inhofe, a Republican who sits on the Senate Armed Services Committee.
The United States currently spends more than twice the total defense spending of the other 29 countries in the NATO defense alliance. Germany has approved a defense budget of 50.4 billion euros, while also setting aside a special fund of 100 billion euros to modernize its army.
How will this money be spent?
The budget money will be spent on weapons, ships and aircraft as well as a 4.6 percent increase in the salaries of soldiers. This includes the purchase of Lockheed Martin’s F-35 fighter jets and fighter jets manufactured by General Dynamics.
In view of rising tensions with China, Taiwan has been allocated billions of dollars in defense aid to facilitate the rapid acquisition of weapons for the Asian country. The budget also includes an additional $800 million in security assistance for Ukraine next year.
Mandatory covid vaccine mandate ends
83 members voted in support of this bill or the National Defense Authorization Act to be presented on Thursday, while 11 members voted against it. Defense policies of the United States require the passage of a defense budget on an annual basis.
Republicans who have insisted that various measures to prevent Covid-19 infringe on personal liberties have threatened to oppose the bill unless the mandatory Covid vaccine mandate is lifted.
The Pentagon says about 8,000 personnel have been suspended for refusing to get the Covid vaccine. The US Congress has passed this bill every year since 1961, which is signed into law by the President.
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