After it advances, the invoice then strikes to the Senate, the place it is going to probably be voted on later this week, earlier than it may be signed into legislation by President Joe Biden.

The remaining model of the invoice, which management from each chambers have agreed to, contains changes to how sexual assault and harassment are prosecuted and handled within the military, a 2.7% pay improve for army service members and Defense Department civilian staff, and $300 million in army support to the Ukrainian Security Assistance Initiative, including $50 million greater than what was proposed in the funds request, summaries of the invoice’s textual content from the House and Senate Armed Services Committees said.
The sweeping invoice targets points which were top-of-mind for Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin since he took the helm of the division in January, from the dealing with of sexual assault and harassment inside the army to adjustments to bias and discrimination coaching for all army branches.

On the international policy entrance, it additionally establishes a “multi-year independent Afghanistan War Commission” to study the struggle in Afghanistan after the US army withdrawal in August, masking the total 20 years of the struggle.

The invoice features a “statement of policy on Taiwan,” saying it’s US policy to keep the potential of the United States to resist a fait accompli towards Taiwan, that might “jeopardize the security” of the Taiwanese individuals, the invoice states.

While the invoice is usually seen as a bipartisan effort, with management in each events and each chambers of Congress coming to an settlement on the textual content earlier than the House vote Tuesday, not each member was happy with the remaining consequence.

Democratic Rep. Anthony Brown of Maryland outlined why he could be voting towards the laws. He mentioned he believes the invoice does not go far sufficient to deal with racial bias in the army justice system.

“At a time when Democrats control the House, the Senate, and the Executive Branch, it is an unconscionable failure to deliver a National Defense Authorization Act that does not meet the values of equity and justice for which we have long strived or a bill that does not meaningfully protect the foundations of our democracy,” Brown mentioned in an announcement.

Military tradition

The remaining model of the invoice removes the commander of a army command “from decisions related to the prosecution of covered crimes,” together with “sexual assault,” an vital shift that army leaders together with Austin and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley have publicly said they support. Instead, the invoice establishes, every service will now have an Office of the Special Trial Counsel to deal with prosecution of these crimes, together with sexual assault, that can report to every service secretary.

The invoice makes sexual harassment against the law in the Uniform Code of Military Justice for the first time. “All claims of sexual harassment will be required to be investigated by an independent investigator outside of the chain of command,” the invoice abstract states.

It additionally directs the division to “track allegations of retaliation by victims” of sexual assault and harassment. Each service will probably be required to observe the demographic info of each the particular person accused of committing sexual assault and harassment crimes and the sufferer of these crimes.

The invoice authorizes a 2.7% pay improve for army service members and DoD civilian staff, and it authorizes the secretary of protection to pay a “basic needs allowance” to certified low-income service members who want further help. Many army service members and their households have suffered the identical setbacks different Americans have skilled throughout the pandemic, with army spouses shedding jobs and households struggling to make ends meet amidst rising inflation on the value of fundamentals like meals, gasoline and housing.

Havana Syndrome, China and Afghanistan

On “anomalous health incidents,” extra colloquially known as Havana Syndrome, the invoice authorizes the President to appoint a “senior official” to lead a “whole-of-government” effort to deal with the incidents, the abstract states. The invoice additionally creates a “Department of Defense cross functional team” to coordinate the Pentagon’s response to the well being incidents. The staff will deal with “national security challenges,” posed by the well being incidents and be sure that those that have suffered from the incidents obtain well timed medical care, the invoice states.

The invoice directs the President to develop a categorized “Grand Strategy with Respect to China,” with an unclassified abstract, the invoice textual content states. It additionally directs DoD put collectively a number of experiences on China’s actions, from their army and safety developments, modernization applied sciences for his or her army functions, to their technique in Latin American and the Caribbean, the invoice states.

After Sen. Marco Rubio, a Republican from Florida, put a maintain on the chamber’s version of the NDAA last week as a result of his modification which might have prohibited the US from shopping for merchandise produced in pressured labor camps by Uyghurs in the Xinjiang province of China, that provision was included in the remaining model of the invoice.

On Afghanistan, the invoice establishes the unbiased Afghanistan War Commission to “examine” the 20-year battle, and it requires the secretary to present “in-depth” experiences to Congress about the US’ potential to counter terrorism in the area, “accountability” of army gear left in the nation and “any plans” to evacuate American residents and “Afghan allies” who’re nonetheless there, the abstract states.

The invoice additionally establishes an “office, organizational structure, and provides authorities to address unidentified aerial phenomena,” additionally known as UFOs.