President Biden signs $770 billion defense bill

(Reuters) – President Joe Biden signed into law the National Defense Authorization Act, or NDAA, for fiscal year 2022, which authorizes $770 billion in defense spending, the White House said on Monday. 

  Earlier this month, the Senate and the House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly for the defense bill https://www.reuters.com/world/us/majority-us-senate-backs-770-billion-defense-bill-2021-12-15 with strong support from both Democrats and Republicans for the annual legislation setting policy for the Department of Defense. 

  The NDAA is closely watched by a broad swath of industry and other interests because it is one of the only major pieces of legislation that becomes law every year and because it addresses a wide range of issues. The NDAA has become law every year for six decades. 

  Authorizing about 5% more military spending than last year, the fiscal 2022 NDAA is a compromise after intense negotiations between House and Senate Democrats and Republicans after being stalled by disputes over China and Russia policy. 

  It includes a 2.7% pay increase for the troops, and more aircraft and Navy ship purchases, in addition to strategies for dealing with geopolitical threats, especially Russia and China. 

  The NDAA includes $300 million for the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative, which provides support to Ukraine's armed forces, $4 billion for the European Defense Initiative and $150 million for Baltic security cooperation. 

  On China, the bill includes $7.1 billion for the Pacific Deterrence Initiative and a statement of congressional support for the defense of Taiwan, as well as a ban on the Department of Defense procuring products produced with forced labor from China's Xinjiang region. 

  It creates a 16-member commission to study the war in Afghanistan. Biden ended the conflict – by far the country's longest war – in August. 

  (Reporting by Kanishka Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Mark Porter and Matthew Lewis) 

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