Protection & Nationwide Safety — Congress sends mammoth protection invoice to Biden

The Senate has handed the annual protection authorization invoice, sending the $858 billion measure to President Biden’s desk for his signature simply earlier than the year-end deadline.

We’ll share how the Senate acquired the measure handed and what’s in it, plus particulars on a push to spice up international navy assist for Taiwan and Ukraine within the subsequent congressional price range bundle and a brand new Russian warning for the U.S.

That is Protection & Nationwide Safety, your nightly information to the newest developments on the Pentagon, on Capitol Hill and past. For The Hill, I’m Ellen Mitchell. Subscribe right here or within the field beneath.

Senate approves $858 billion protection invoice

(AP Photograph/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File)

The measure formally referred to as the Nationwide Protection Authorization Act (NDAA) on Thursday handed within the Senate with an awesome bipartisan majority, 83-11. 

The make-up: It offers $45 billion extra for protection than referred to as for in Biden’s price range, together with allocating $817 billion to the Division of Protection and $30 billion to the Division of Power. 

Assembly the deadline: Thursday’s vote caps weeks of wrangling over ground timing and controversial coverage adjustments, resembling language demanded by conservative Republicans to finish the navy’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate, which has been in place since August of 2021.  

It marks the 61st yr in a row that Congress has handed the protection invoice on time, a notable achievement given the legislative gridlock that has reigned on Capitol Hill in recent times. 

Celebrations so as: Senate Armed Providers Committee Chairman Jack Reed (D-R.I.) cheered the passage of the invoice after months of negotiation, calling it “probably the most important vote of the yr.”  

“I’ve stated it earlier than and I’m not the one one saying it — the world is a extra harmful place than I’ve ever seen earlier than in my lifetime,” he stated. 

Passage of the protection invoice can also be a victory for Senate Minority Chief Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), who recognized it as a high precedence within the lame-duck session. 

All clear: The Biden administration earlier this week criticized the vaccine mandate repeal as “a mistake” however the president continues to be anticipated to signal the laws when it reaches his desk. 

Final-minute wrangling: Senators accepted the laws after voting down an modification sponsored by Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) to enact allowing reform for power initiatives and one other sponsored by Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) to require the navy to rehire and supply back-pay to service members pressured out of labor due to vaccine non-compliance.  

Each amendments wanted 60 votes to go. 

And Sen. Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska) requested for a vote on his modification to cap charges charged by trial attorneys in circumstances representing Marines who turned in poor health due to water contamination at North Carolina’s Camp Lejeune.

He later withdrew it as a result of he anticipated it to fail however pledged to work with Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Sick.), the chairman of the Judiciary Committee, on a compromise earlier than the top of the yr. 

What’s in it: The Senate passage comes precisely every week after the Home handed the invoice, which lays out how the Protection Division allocates a whole lot of billions of {dollars} towards weapons applications and offers a 4.6 p.c elevate in service members’ salaries. 

It authorizes $163 billion for procurement, in comparison with the $144 billion requested in Biden’s price range; $139 billion for analysis and growth, in comparison with the $130 billion requested by Biden; and $279 billion for operation and upkeep, in comparison with the $271 billion requested by Biden. 

As well as, it authorizes $211 for personnel and well being, roughly the identical that Biden requested; $19 billion for navy development and $30 billion for protection associated nuclear applications.  

The invoice consists of meant navy assist to different international locations, resembling $10 billion to Taiwan by way of 2027 and one other $800 million in safety help for Ukraine. 

It allocates $6 billion for the European Deterrence Initiative, a program initiated in 2014 after Russia’s annexation of Crimea to extend the readiness of U.S. forces in Europe to discourage additional aggression. 

Learn the remaining right here 


A bipartisan group of lawmakers on international relations panels are urging Senate and Home management to go further navy spending for Taiwan and Ukraine within the subsequent congressional price range bundle. 

Who signed on: Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), the chairman of the Senate Overseas Relations Committee, and rating member James Risch (R-Idaho), requested for $500 million to assist Ukrainian troops and one other $250 million to assist allies of Ukraine on high of what was included within the Home-passed NDAA. 

The senators had been joined by Home Overseas Affairs Committee Chairman Gregory Meeks (D-N.Y.) and rating member Michael McCaul (R-Texas) in Thursday’s letter to congressional management. 

Their reasoning: They stated rising tensions in Taiwan, which the U.S. fears may see an invasion from China, name for $500 million in emergency appropriations and one other $1 billion in presidential drawdown spending, which attracts from the Protection Division’s shares, for the democratic island nation. 

“The risk Taiwan faces is each pressing and unprecedentedly massive,” the letter reads. “Because the warfare in Ukraine has demonstrated, it’s crucial that america present companions with strategic, long-term safety help effectively prematurely of battle to be able to successfully deter, and, when obligatory, to answer acts of aggression.” 

Learn that story right here 

Russia warns of ‘unpredictable penalties’

A Ukrainian MLRS, or Multiple Launch Rocket System, takes a position on the frontline
A Ukrainian MLRS, or A number of Launch Rocket System, takes a place on the frontline at an undisclosed location within the Donetsk area on Thursday, Nov. 24, 2022.

Russia hit again at experiences that the U.S. is poised to ship the Patriot air protection system to Ukraine, calling it a “provocative” transfer that “can result in unpredictable penalties.” 

The U.S. has not but introduced the choice to ship the superior programs, which may assist Ukraine fend off a barrage of Russian missile strikes, however a number of experiences indicated such an announcement may come this week. 

The risk “If that is confirmed, we’ll witness yet one more provocative step by the administration, which may result in unpredictable penalties,” the Russian Embassy in Washington stated in a press release. “Continued deliveries of arms will solely strengthen the Zelensky regime’s sense of impunity and push it to new crimes towards civilians in Donbass, Kherson and Zaporozhye areas.” 

“Washington’s technique causes huge injury not solely to the Russian-American relations, but additionally creates further dangers for international safety,” the Russian Embassy stated, blaming the U.S. for Russia’s ongoing invasion. 

Earlier: The U.S. and NATO international locations have already despatched different air protection programs to Ukraine, together with two shipments of the Nationwide Superior Floor-to-Air Missile System. However Patriots, made by U.S. agency Raytheon, are probably the most superior surface-to-air missile protection programs NATO has in its repertoire. 

Why it’s a giant deal: Such a system may assist Ukraine shoot down larger threats from additional away, however the U.S. up to now has balked at sending Patriots partly due to considerations over it being seen as an escalation by Moscow. 

Answering the decision: The deliveries would reply the repeated calls from Kyiv for extra superior programs from the West at a time when Russia is launching rounds of missile strikes aimed toward Ukraine’s power infrastructure and different targets. 

Learn the total story right here 


The Center East Institute will maintain its eleventh annual Turkey Convention at 9 a.m. 


That’s it for at this time. Try The Hill’s Protection and Nationwide Safety pages for the newest protection. See you tomorrow!