It appears that the U.S. military will be funded throughout the end of the 2022 fiscal year.
President Joe Biden signed the latest National Defense Authorization Act, though he expressed disappointment over a few provisions and called on Congress to remove them from any future defense funding legislation.
Biden praises Congress for bipartisan bill
According to the Washington Examiner, the president’s chief concern related to a provision that barred the transfer of detainees out of the Guantanamo Bay facility.
That move effectively blocks the longstanding goal of some Democrats to completely shut down the military prison.
In a statement on Monday, the White House announced that Biden signed the act, noting that it provides “appropriations principally for Department of Defense programs and military construction, Department of Energy national security programs, and intelligence programs; specifies a military basic pay increase and other authorities relating to the U.S. Armed Forces; and other matters.”
As the Biden administration further noted, lawmakers from both parties demonstrated “leadership” in coming together with a compromise that could pass in both chambers of Congress.
Nevertheless, the president made it clear that he did not endorse all aspects of the legislation.
“It stays true to its objective”
As for the Guantanamo Bay provision, the president argued that it could prevent the court-ordered release of a detainee or otherwise impact “delicate negotiations” with foreign nationals.
“I urge the Congress to eliminate these restrictions as soon as possible,” Biden said.
He also raised multiple “constitutional concerns” within the bill’s language, including those imposing greater congressional oversight of certain defense-related agencies, which he feared could lead to leaks of “highly sensitive classified information, including information that could reveal critical intelligence sources or military operational plans.”
On the other side of the aisle, senior GOP Senate Armed Services Committee member Jim Inhofe (R-OK) expressed cautious optimism in his own statement confirming its passage in the upper chamber.
“While I still don’t agree to every provision in the legislation, there is a reason the National Defense Authorization Act has passed for 60 consecutive years — it stays true to its objective of ensuring service members have the training, resources, and equipment they need to complete the mission and return home safely,” he said.