On Thursday, the Senate voted to pass a bill that nearly provides $858 for national defence and rescinds the US military’s Covid vaccine mandate.
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According to the bill, nearly $817 billion is authorised, especially for the department of defence, which is $45 billion or roughly 10% more than last year’s bill.
However, this defence bill involves many policy provisions, including a 4.5% pay raise for military service members, a requirement to strengthen airpower, and land warfare defence capabilities. It also reinforces US support for Ukraine and NATO.
After the Senate passes the defence bill on Thursday, it goes to president Joe Biden to be signed.
It is being said that the bill passed by a vote of 83-11, receiving broad bipartisan support in the White House. When the congressional republicans pushed for its repeal, the requirement to rescind the military’s Covid-19 vaccine mandate came.
On the provision to rescind Covid-19 vaccine mandate Kevin McCarthy, the House GOP leader shared his valuable thoughts. He praised it and said it would be a victory for military members if Joe Biden’s military Covid vaccine mandate ends.
An amendment was also offered by the Senate conservatives and a Republican from Wisconsin, Sen. Ron Johnson, that would reinstate the military service members who didn’t receive a COVID-19 vaccine.
Still, there is no clarity on whether Joe Biden would sign the bill if it includes rescinding the vaccine mandate for military service members.
It is seen that president Biden continues to support the vaccine mandate. In recent days, the provision’s inclusion underscores a reality that played out behind closed doors, even though White House officials deferred to Secretary Lloyd Austin’s opposition to repealing the vaccine mandate.
Therefore, in order to get the must-pass bill across the finish line, Democrats believed that GOP support was a necessity. They also agreed to Republican demands to scrap the requirement for military service members to receive a vaccination.
The conclusion is that the defence bill is going to be a lengthy negotiation between White House officials and Senate lawmakers.
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