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Washington, Dec 16 (UiTV/IANS) – The US Congress has passed the annual defence authorisation bill worth nearly $858 billion.
Late Thursday night, the Senate approved the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for fiscal year 2023 and sent it to the White House for signature, a week after it went through the House of Representatives, reports Xinhua news agency.
The NDAA authorises $816.7 billion for the Pentagon and $30.3 billion for national security programs within the Department of Energy.
The legislation also increases the topline authorisation level by $45 billion above President Joe Biden’s budget request to “address the effects of inflation”.
The massive bill also includes a vast number of policy provisions.
Among them, it would authorise a 4.6 per cent pay raise for military service members. It includes provisions to strengthen air power and land warfare defence capabilities as well as cybersecurity.
It also aims to bolster US support for Ukraine and NATO.
The legislation will also rescind the US military’s Covid vaccine mandate after congressional Republicans had pushed for its repeal.
In 2021, the US military spending represented nearly 40 per cent of the world’s total, more than the next nine countries combined.
US govt releases new group of JFK assassination documents
The US government released a new group of records related to the assassination of former President John F. Kennedy (JFK).
The National Archives posted more than 13,000 documents containing newly released information subject to legislation passed by Congress in 1992, Xinhua news agency reported.
With Thursday’s release, over 97 per cent of documents in the JFK Assassination Records Collection are available, according to the federal agency.
US President Joe Biden said in a memo on Thursday that all information in records concerning the assassination should be disclosed “except when the strongest possible reasons counsel otherwise.”
“The profound national tragedy of President Kennedy’s assassination continues to resonate in American history and in the memories of so many Americans who were alive on that terrible day,” the memo read.
The Biden administration postponed the release of the trove of documents last year, citing the COVID-19 pandemic.
Kennedy, the 35th president of the US, was assassinated on November 22, 1963, while traveling in an open-top convertible through downtown Dallas, Texas.