The House of Representatives approved a massive billion-dollar defense spending plan on Thursday even as some Republicans raised concerns about inflation and the military’s vaccine mandate.
The National Defense Authorization Act passed the House by a vote of 329-101, authorizing $839 billion in spending. Over $800 billion was allocated for the Pentagon, more than $30 billion for the Department of Energy, and some $400 million to other federal agencies. The spending plan has not yet been approved by the Senate, but is expected to pass.
The top Republican on the House Armed Services Committee, Rep. Mike Rogers (R-AL) praised the passage of the bill. He added, “However, our work is not done — we will continue to improve upon this bill in conference to ensure that this legislation gives our warfighters what they need.”
Rogers also called the bill the “definition of a bipartisan bill.”
There were more than 600 amendments voted on for the bill. Key provisions in the bill include another $1 billion for Ukraine, almost a billion for four EC-37B Compass Call electronic warfare aircraft for the Space Force, more high-tech Navy ships, more stipulations for jet sales to Turkey, a pay bump for soldiers due to inflation, and other measures.
It was more funding than President Biden had requested.
Sixty-two Republicans and 39 Democrats voted against the package, with some Republicans raising concerns about a lack of oversight for the spending, the military’s continued vaccine mandate, and the ramifications of the spending on skyrocketing inflation.
Rep. Dan Bishop (R-NC) labeled the bill “reckless” and “woke.”
“Business as usual in Washington is not good enough – Congress cannot continue to rubber-stamp massive spending binges with nearly zero accountability. This bill does nothing to end Biden’s vaccine mandate, which is an intentional purge of thousands of our best and bravest troops,” he said.
Bishop said that Congress should be spending money on shoring up the southern border and increasing ICE funding instead of “foreign misadventures.”
“As inflation continues to rage, shoveling money into the furnace of America Last foreign entanglements will only make our military weaker and our country more vulnerable,” he said.
Fellow Republican Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX) agreed, pointing to the vaccine mandate and green energy provisions.
“I refuse to vote for a defense authorization bill that fires healthy, qualified service members because they won’t get a politicized injection,” he said.
“I refuse to vote to authorize $850 billion — $82 billion more than last year’s NDAA when our country is $30 trillion in debt — for the Pentagon to brainwash our troops with anti-American ideology and pursue fantasy ‘green’ energy programs,” the Texas congressman added.
The spending approval comes as the U.S. continues to see decades-high inflation. On Wednesday, a report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics revealed that inflation had risen 9.1% between June 2021 and June 2022, exceeding the Dow Jones estimate.