The U.S. Senate approves a $886 billion defense budget


The United States Senate on Wednesday passed a $886 billion defense spending bill that includes a pay raise for the military and funding for Ukraine and Israel.

The bill, approved by a vote of 87-13, authorizes a $28 billion increase in the Pentagon's budget from fiscal year 2023.

“At a time of enormous challenges to global security, passing the defense authorization bill is more important than ever,” said Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, a Democrat, in a statement after the vote.

The budget will now go to the House of Representatives, where lawmakers attempted to add abortion and transgender treatment measures in the middle of the year.

The so-called National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) enacts a 5.2% pay raise for the military, as well as provides funding for the Pentagon's various programs.

It also includes $11.5 billion to counter Chinese influence in the South China Sea and $800 million for Ukraine.

The NDAA, Schumer added, “will ensure that the United States can stand up to Russia, stand firm against the Chinese Communist Party, and ensure that the United States military remains state-of-the-art at all times, around the world.”

The bill's passage came after lengthy negotiations between the two chambers, amid Republican pressure to include two controversial amendments to prevent the Department of Defense from subsidizing travel expenses for abortions and gender-affirming hormone and surgical treatments.

The agreed-upon funds add $45 billion to the amount initially requested by President Joe Biden, a Democrat, to address the impact of inflation and accelerate the implementation of the National Defense Strategy.