Majority of US Senate Passes $768Bln Defence Spending Bill
17:29 GMT 15.12.2021 (Updated: 21:18 GMT 19.10.2022)
WASHINGTON, (Sputnik) - A majority of the US Senate on Wednesday voted in favour of passing the final version of the $768 billion defence spending bill for 2022 and will now send it to President Joe Biden's desk to be signed into law.
The National Defence Authorisation Act (NDAA) does not include sanctions against the Russian sovereign debt or 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 buildup of forces near Ukraine.
The House of Representatives has already passed the measure in a 363-70 vote.
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 defence systems. The bill also includes $4 billion for the European Deterrence Initiative and $300 million in security aid for Ukraine.
The legislation would also require biennial reporting on alleged Russian influence operations and campaigns targeting American military alliances.
The defence bill initially caused disagreements between American lawmakers, with Republicans pushing to sanction Nord Stream 2, and Democrats opposing the idea.
1 December 2021, 11:33 GMT
The Nord Stream 2 pipeline, designed to deliver Russian gas directly to Central Europe, has sparked heated international debate. The United States has claimed that Moscow will use the pipeline to undermine the energy security of Europe, while Germany has argued that its energy security does not concern Washington.
Russia, in turn, has repeatedly stressed that the Nord Stream 2 project is purely economic and must not be politicised.