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US House Passes $768Bln Defense Spending Bill, Sends to Senate for Vote

© REUTERS / ERIN SCOTTThe U.S. Capitol dome is seen in Washington, U.S., December 17, 2020
The U.S. Capitol dome is seen in Washington, U.S., December 17, 2020 - Sputnik International, 1920, 08.12.2021
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WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - The US House of Representatives passed an updated version of the $768 billion defense spending bill for 2022, sending it to the Senate for consideration.
The House approved the 2022 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) en bloc with other bills with a 363-70 vote on Tuesday night.
The budget earmarks $7.1 billion for operations in the Indo-Pacific region, with initiatives to address challenges from China such as risks to supply chains for critical defense systems.
The legislation would also require biennial reporting on alleged Russian influence operations and campaigns targeting American military alliances.
Earlier, it was reported that the new proposed text of the NDAA does not include sanctions against Russian sovereign debt that were included in an initial House draft of the defense spending legislation, nor does it include any sanctions against Russia's Nord Stream 2 pipeline despite attempts by lawmakers to add them to the legislation amid rising tensions with Moscow over the alleged buildup of forces near Ukraine.
Russian President Vladimir Putin holds talks with US President Joe Biden via a video link - Sputnik International, 1920, 07.12.2021
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At the same time, the bill includes $4 billion for the European Deterrence Initiative, which is used to support efforts to deter Russia's activities in Europe, according to the document released on Tuesday.
In late November, the Biden administration slammed Republicans for blocking the 2022 defense budget bill in a push for more Russia sanctions, Politico reported. Prior to that, Biden reportedly urged Democrats in the Senate to reject new sanctions in the defense budget that target Nord Stream 2 in order to avoid isolating Germany amid tensions on the Russian-Ukrainian border.
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