Biden signs US defense budget, including USD 300 million for Ukraine
On December 22, US President Joe Biden signed the National Defense Authorization Act, which provides a record USD 886 billion for defense needs in fiscal year 2024
This is reported by the White House press service.
In a statement, Biden welcomed the passage of the law, which “provides the critical authorities we need to build the military required to deter future conflicts, while supporting service members and their spouses and families who carry out that mission every day.”
At the same time, he expressed several reservations about the provisions of the Act, which, in his opinion, limit the ability of the US president to represent the country in the international arena and may lead to the disclosure of confidential information.
Congress finally approved the Act on December 14. Its final version does not contain a number of amendments adopted by Republicans in the House of Representatives against what they call "leftism" in the Pentagon.
Among other things, the final version of the document does not contain restrictions on the Pentagon's abortion policy or a ban on the Pentagon funding treatment for employees and military personnel for gender dysphoria.
At the same time, it retains a provision to extend the controversial Federal Bureau of Investigation surveillance program until early 2025.
With regard to Ukraine, the bill extends the Security Assistance Initiative for Ukraine, authorizing USD 300 million for fiscal years 2024 and 2025 (i.e., through September 2025).
- On November 16, the US Senate passed a bill to temporarily fund the government until January 19, 2024, without funding to support Ukraine and Israel.
- At the same time, on December 7, the US Senate failed a procedural vote to begin work on legislation to provide emergency aid to Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan worth USD 106 billion.