The U.S. Senate approved a record $858 billion National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) military budget, $45 billion more than President Joe Biden had asked for. According to Reuters, at least $800 million of this amount will be spent on military assistance to Ukraine.
The document was adopted by an overwhelming majority: 83 senators voted in favor and only 11 voted against. The budget has already been approved by the House of Representatives. Biden is expected to sign it soon.
The military budget for 2023 includes the cost of increasing the salaries of military personnel, the purchase of new weapons, including ships and F-35 fighters, as well as the allocation of additional funds for the development of hypersonic weapons.
In addition, the NDAA will allocate funds to support Taiwan against the Chinese threat and Ukraine against the Russian invasion. In particular, the United States plans to replenish the stocks of equipment at the disposal of Kyiv and supply ammunition critical to the continuation of the war.
The document also contains a requirement for the Secretary of Defense to cancel the mandate, according to which all members of the US Army must be vaccinated against COVID-19.
The profile committees of both houses of Congress agreed on the draft defense budget in early December. At the same time, it was reported that the document involves the allocation of $ 6 billion to contain Russia in Europe and the introduction of secondary sanctions against participants in transactions with Russian gold.
The Kremlin said that the draft US military budget is "unprecedentedly confrontational" in relation to Russia.
Politico reported , citing Pentagon officials, that the department feared dire consequences if Congress did not pass the budget by Dec. 16. On this day, the resolution on temporary funding ends, and if the budget was not adopted, it would have to be extended.
According to Politico, the Pentagon feared that this would lead to a delay in the financing of military needs. In particular, US Deputy Secretary of Defense Michael McChord said that without an approved military budget, the money to help Ukraine would run out by spring.
The previous US military budget was $740 billion.