The U.S. Senate passed the Fiscal Year 2023 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) on Thursday with a whopping $847 billion package to President Biden in the Oval Office to sign. The bill passed 83-11. The legislation allocates $816 billion to the Department of Defense and $30 billion to the Department of Energy.
Here’s what’s in it:
1. Rescinded Vaccine Mandate is eliminated for the Department of Defense’s COVID-19 mandate. To date, approximately, 3,400 service members have been discharged for refusing the shot since Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin announced the mandate in 2021. The bill does not reinstate those service members, and an amendment doing so proposed by Republican Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin and Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas failed 40-54.Republican Oklahoma Sen. James Lankford placed a hold on DOD nominees in response to the agency’s refusal to provide information about religious exemption requests for the vaccines. He voted in favor of the Johnson-Cruz amendment.
2. The bill includes as an amendment to the Taiwan Enhanced Resilience Act, which allocates up to $10 billion in military aid for Taiwan to be distributed over a five-year period. In order to receive the aid, Taiwan must increase its own defense spending. The NDAA also allocates $800 million to Ukraine. Congress could spend up to $40 billion more on aid for Ukraine by the end of the 117th Congress, since President Joe Biden requested that $37 billion more for the war-torn country be included in the FY2023 full government funding package.
Here is what is not in the NDAA:
The Senate, with a 47-47 vote rejected Energy Independence and Security Act.. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York promised Manchin that he would pass the bill in exchange for Manchin’s support for the Inflation Reduction Act, but left-wing members threatened revolts on several must-pass bills and Republicans refused to support the package.
And, this is what Biden is doing abroad with U.S. taxpayers’ money:
This week President Biden promised $8 billion to Africa during a conference held in Washington, D.C.
President Biden proclaimed Wednesday that the U.S. and other G-7 countries will donate billions to get South Africa off coal and on renewables.
“Today’s announcement joined a portfolio of Partnership for Global Infrastructure Investment projects already underway in Africa,” Biden declared at the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit, “Including mobilizing $8 billion in public and private finance to help South Africa replace coal-fired power plants with renewable energy sources.”
Biden also said money would be spent helping “develop cutting-edge energy solutions like clean hydrogen, a deal worth $2 billion to build solar energy projects in Angola, $600 million high-speed communications cables that will connect Southeast Asia to Europe via Egypt and the Horn of Africa and help bring high-speed internet connectivity to countries all along the way.”