Congress on Tuesday night unveiled the 2023 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), worth $858 billion, $45 billion more than what President Biden requested for the military spending bill.
The House is expected to vote on the legislation this week, and it could be brought to the floor as soon as Wednesday. Once the House approves the bill, it will send the spending bill to the Senate, then to President Biden’s desk for his signature.
The massive $858 billion bill represents an 8% increase from the 2022 NDAA, which was also larger than what Biden requested. The $858 billion includes $817 billion for the Pentagon, and the remaining funds go toward military spending for other departments.
Notable amendments packed into the NDAA include $10 billion in military aid for Taiwan that will be dispersed over five years. The aid is in the form of Foreign Military Financing, a State Department program that gives foreign governments funds to purchase US-made military equipment.
The NDAA also includes $800 million in the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative, a program that allows the US government to purchase weapons for Ukraine. But the vast majority of spending on the Ukraine war will come through emergency funding, and the White House is hoping Congress approves a new $37.7 billion tranche of Ukraine aid during the lame-duck period.
The NDAA includes $11.5 billion in new investments for the Pacific Deterrence Initiative, a program to build up in the Asia Pacific to confront China. The Pentagon has identified China as its main focus, and the NDAA includes investment in new technology research and development that US military leaders say is meant to counter Beijing.