$768B Defense Bill Pushed Through The Finish Line: Bipartisan Eruption Wins The Day

defense bill
defense bill

Despite GOP opposition over the inclusion of women in the draft, the House passed the $768 Billion Defense Bill voting 316-113 in favor after hours of debate covering hundreds of amendments. Despite a strong burst of opposition from the conservative wing of the Republicans, the wide-ranging defense policy bill had a comfortable home run.

The Defense Bill will cover the fiscal year 2022 and is around 5% more than the bill from the previous year. It is a major setback to President Biden’s spending plans for the Pentagon.

The legislation would require women to register for a military draft. Momentum has been built to add another $25B or more to the defense proposal suggested by the President.

The legislation set the Pentagon policy and authorizes the levels of spending. There is also an aim to extract more information on the messy and humiliating departure from Afghanistan. An extensive appraisal of the 20-year war is being sought too.

Women Too Could Be Required For Potential Military Draft, As Per Defense Bill

The defense bill is yet to get through the Senate. A version of the bill was approved by the Armed Service Committee that approved the increase in defense spending. It had also expanded the registration of Selective Service to include women.

$740B of the total would be for the base budget of the Pentagon. It is an increase of $25B over the amount requested by President Biden. The rest $28B is for the nuclear weapons program, which is under the Energy Department.

A 286-142 effort by Progressive Democrats to stop the increase and support the President’s budget level was rejected by the Lawmakers.

Republicans and even some Democrats found the President’s proposal insufficient to take on the emerging threat from China.

But this increase has come at a price as it has split the House Democrats. The shabby withdrawal from Afghanistan has also led to frustration and lawmakers included provisions that will require the Pentagon to come up with an explanation on the hasty withdrawal from Bagram Air Base and the halt in maintenance support to the Afghan Air Force.

Women would also be required to register for any potential draft under the new defense bill. It stands as a major change but has not gone down well with the Conservatives. It has a good chance of becoming law as it has also been endorsed in the Senate bill.