Politics

US Congress approves defense budget without ultra-conservative demands

Washington, Dec 14 (EFE).- The United States House of Representatives on Thursday approved a defense budget of $886 billion for this fiscal year that does not include the demands of radical Republicans against abortion and LGBT rights in the army.

The National Defense Authorization Act, which includes a pay raise for the military and new aid for Ukraine, passed with 310 votes in favor and 118 against.

Compared to fiscal year 2023, Thursday’s text represents a $28 billion increase and was approved after months of intense negotiations between Democrats and Republicans.

The more radical wing of the Republican Party demanded the inclusion of amendments prohibiting the Pentagon from subsidizing travel for military personnel to obtain abortions in states where the practice is allowed or to undergo gender reassignment procedures.

The budget includes a 5.2% pay raise for the military, as well as funding for various Pentagon programs such as $11.5 billion to counter Beijing’s influence in the South China Sea and $800 million for Ukraine.

However, the bulk of the military aid to the Kyiv government remains stalled in Congress, where Republicans are blocking an emergency spending package sent by Biden.

The $106 billion package includes $61 billion for Ukraine and $15 billion for Israel, but Republicans are demanding more restrictive immigration policies in exchange for their approval.

The Pentagon’s budget for fiscal year 2024 received the green light from the Senate on Wednesday and now only needs to be ratified by US President Joe Biden to become law. EFE

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