Senate passes defense bill rescinding COVID vaccine mandate
December 16, 2022
WASHINGTON - A bill to rescind the COVID-19 vaccine mandate for members of the U.S. military and provide nearly $858 billion for national defense passed the Senate on Thursday and now goes to President Joe Biden to be signed into law.
The bill provides for about $45 billion more for defense programs than Biden requested and roughly 10% more than last year's bill as lawmakers look to account for inflation and boost the nation's military competitiveness with China and Russia. It includes a 4.6% pay raise for servicemembers and the Defense Department's civilian workforce.
The Senate passed the defense policy bill by a vote of 83-11. The measure also received broad bipartisan support in the House last week.