The House and Senate Armed Service committees last week agreed to add $45 billion to President Joe Biden’s 2023 National Defense Authorization Act, according to a report.

Politico, citing four people familiar with the negotiations, reported that the deal would set the budget at $847 billion for national defense, with the possibility of reaching as high as $858 billion.

We reported in July that the House voted in favor of an $850.3 billion national security budget that members say will help the U.S. respond to continued threats and surging inflation. The House passed the bill in a 329-101 vote. The “no” votes included 62 Republicans and 39 Democrats.

“With inflation factored in, it is a good increase but it’s essential because of inflation and also the need to continue significant programs,” Sen. Jack Reed, the chair of the Senate Armed Services, said in an interview, according to Politico.

Focus on China

Part of the bill could mean Taiwan receives up to $10 billion in State Department financing to purchase U.S. weapons or $2 billion per year for five years and another $1 billion each year in equipment from U.S. stockpiles, said Defense News.

Last month, in an article titled, “U.S. AIMS TO FLOOD TAIWAN WITH WEAPONS TO TURN ISLAND INTO A ‘PORCUPINE’ IF CHINA INVADES,” we reported that the U.S. wants to arm Taiwan with so much weaponry that the tiny island off the coast of mainland China would be able to stand up to an invasion. 

TRENDPOST: The Trends Journal has reported extensively on the tense relationship between Washington and Beijing over the Taiwan issue. And we have forecast that, should China invade Taiwan, no one will stop them, especially America, which lost every war it started since WWII.  (See “TAIWAN VS. CHINA: UKRAINE WAR SETS THE STAGE” 5 Apr 2022, “PRODUCING NEW ENEMIES FOR NO REASON WHATSOEVER” 9 Aug 2022, and “WHAT CELENTE HAS SAID IS NOW PROOF: POLL SHOWS MOST AMERICANS CAN’T FIND UKRAINE OR TAIWAN ON A MAP” 16 Aug 2022.)

No Jab, No Military Service

Sen. Rand Paul posted an open letter on Twitter vowing to oppose the bill “unless the Senate votes on an amendment to prohibit discharges from the Armed Forces solely because of vaccination status. The amendment will also reinstate service members already discharged w/back pay.”

Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., also signed the letter, and said, “Bottom line: the COVID-19 vaccine does not prevent infection or transmission. So why does the Biden admin force our men and women in uniform to take it? Before moving forward on NDAA, the Senate should vote on ending the insane COVID-19 military vaccine mandate.”

The Military Times noted that just about half of the Senate Republican caucus said they would block the bill unless the mandate is lifted and those who were dismissed are reinstated.

The report, citing data released by the Defense Department, said about 3,300 Marines, 1,800 soldiers, 1,800 sailors, and 900 airmen have been removed for refusing to take the vaccine. The U.S. began these discharges in February. 

The Biden administration has not budged on the issue and said these vaccines are essential to keep the force in fighting shape.

Rep. Adam Smith, D-Wash., said the rollback of the policy is on the table. 

“I was a very strong supporter of the vaccine mandate when we did it, a very strong supporter of the Covid restrictions put in place by DoD and others,” he said. “But at this point in time, does it make sense to have that policy from August 2021? That is a discussion that I am open to and that we’re having.”

TRENDPOST: As our 8 November cover noted: The War Machine Always Wins, no matter which political party is in power. 

Bill La Plante, the undersecretary of defense for acquisition and sustainment, said months ago that he expected Congress—no matter what party was in control—would approve new weapons purchasing power at levels not seen since the Cold War. 

“They are going to give us multiyear authority, and they’re going to give us funding to really put into the industrial base,” he told George Mason University at the time. “And I’m talking billions of dollars into the industrial base—to fund these production lines. That, I predict, is going to happen, and it’s happening now. And then people will have to say: ‘I guess they were serious about it.’ But we have not done that since the Cold War.”

Just last week, Lloyd Austin, the Secretary of Defense, unveiled the U.S.’s newest bomber that is designed to evade the world’s best air defense systems. The Associated Press reported that almost every aspect of the program is classified. The price tag is not known but could be around $753 million per plane. There are currently six in production and the Air Force wants 100.

“This isn’t just another airplane. It’s the embodiment of America’s determination to defend the republic that we all love,” Austin said.

Deborah Lee James, the Air Force secretary when the Raider contract was announced in 2015, told The AP that the “U.S. needs a new bomber for the 21st Century that would allow us to take on much more complicated threats, like the threats that we fear we would one day face from China, Russia.”

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