Friday, September 24, 2021

U.S. House of Representatives passes defense policy bill with assistance to Ukraine

U.S. House of Representatives passes defense policy bill with assistance to Ukraine

The U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday passed its sweeping annual defense policy bill that would add billions of dollars to President Biden’s defense budget proposal, call for answers on failures in the war in Afghanistan and require women to register for the draft.

“The House easily approved its $778 billion fiscal 2022 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) in a bipartisan 316-113 vote Thursday night. Thirty-eight Democrats and 75 Republicans voted against the bill's passage,” The Hill reports.

This week, the House Rules Committee approved a number of amendments to the bill. The proposals include sanctions against Nord Stream 2, the use of titanium from Ukraine instead of resources from China and Russia, on which the United States now depends, and the imposition of new sanctions on Russia and Russian oligarchs, high-ranking officials, and media people.

In addition, the bill provides for $300 million in security assistance to Ukraine and proposes to increase the presence of U.S. troops on NATO's eastern flank – in Poland, Romania, and the Baltic states.

The underlying NDAA that was passed Thursday also includes a provision, approved as an amendment during the Armed Services Committee’s debate, that would require women to register for the draft.

The United States has not instituted a draft since the Vietnam War, but men still have to register with what’s officially known as the Selective Service System or face consequences such as losing access to federal financial aid for college.

Conservatives have howled about “drafting our daughters,” but other lawmakers in both parties argue there’s no reason to exempt women from registering now since combat jobs were opened to them in 2016.