President Joe Biden signed a nearly $858 billion defense spending bill into law Friday despite his opposition to a Republican-backed provision in the legislation that repeals the COVID-19 vaccination requirement for U.S. troops.
Biden had agreed with Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin's determination that lifting the mandate was not in the best interest of troops or the military, according to White House officials. But ultimately, Biden decided to accept Republican demands to lift the vaccine requirement to win passage of the legislation.
Biden in a statement said he had issue with several aspects of the bill.
The bill includes 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.... Read More: FOX45