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The US House of Representatives has overwhelmingly voted in favor of a defense policy bill that proposes a record $886 billion in military spending, with provisions for Ukraine aid and strategies against China in the Indo-Pacific.

The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) received bipartisan support, passing with a vote of 310 to 118, exceeding the required two-thirds majority. Apart from setting the annual military budget, the NDAA encompasses a range of policies, including a 5.2% pay raise for troops and approvals for military hardware purchases. This year’s NDAA, spanning nearly 3,100 pages and marking a 3% increase from the previous year, continues Congress’s 63-year streak of passing the bill.

The final version of the NDAA omitted controversial social issues, such as abortion access and transgender service member treatment, which had caused friction in the House. Additionally, the bill includes a four-month extension of Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), a debated domestic surveillance authority, allowing time for potential reforms.

The NDAA supports Ukraine through the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative, extending it until the end of 2026 with an authorization of $300 million for the next two fiscal years. This support, however, is modest compared to President Biden’s request for $61 billion in aid for Ukraine amid the ongoing Russian invasion.

The more significant emergency spending request is currently stalled in Congress due to Republican demands for stricter immigration laws. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s recent visit to the Capitol to advocate for Biden’s requested funding did not secure firm commitments from Republican lawmakers.


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