Biden signs 2022 NDAA military funding bill into law

As 2021 draws to a close, Congress had recently scrambled to pass a comprehensive appropriations bill that would provide funding for the U.S. military for the remainder of the 2022 Fiscal Year.

On Monday, President Joe Biden signed that bill, making the $740 billion 2022 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) the law of the land, the Washington Examiner reported.

Yet, while Biden did sign the bill into law, he also let it be known that there were certain provisions within the bill that he didn’t agree with or support.

2022 NDAA signed into law

A White House release announced President Biden’s signing of S. 1605, which provided “appropriations principally for Department of Defense programs and military construction, Department of Energy national security programs, and intelligence programs,” among other things.

That brief announcement also expressed the president’s gratitude for the “leadership” displayed by the Democratic chairmen and ranking Republican members of both the House and Senate Armed Services Committees in getting the bill put together and passed in time for Biden to sign it before the end of the year.

That had been a challenge, according to the Examiner, as Republicans had stood united as the minority party in both chambers and had forced a number of concessions in the legislation from Democrats in order to gain their necessary support to pass the measure.

Some disagreement

Accompanying the White House release was a statement from President Biden in which he first heralded what he viewed as good things contained in the 2022 NDAA, such as how it “provides vital benefits and enhances access to justice for military personnel and their families, and includes critical authorities to support our country’s national defense.”

But Biden’s statement focused far more intently on aspects of the bill that he didn’t like, such as a provision blocking the transfer of detainees out of the Guantanamo Bay prison, either to the U.S. or some other foreign country, and he urged Congress to “eliminate these restrictions as soon as possible.”

Biden also raised “constitutional concerns” over a different provision that would increase congressional oversight and reporting requirements of certain executive agencies and departments, which the president worried could involve “highly sensitive classified information, including information that could reveal critical intelligence sources or military operational plans.”

He also expressed disagreement with a provision that asserted more of a role for Congress in terms of discussions of foreign policy and international organizations, as well as a provision requiring Senate confirmation for members of a high-level special advisory group to the Defense secretary focused on logistical supply chain challenges.

Final bill

All in all, the complaints from President Biden about the 2022 NDAA were relatively minor quibbles — aside from the block on attempts to clear out the Guantanamo Bay prison — and he had little room to complain otherwise, considering the measure actually included about $25 billion more than he had initially requested, according to the Examiner.

If you would like to see the highlights of what was included in the final version of the $740 billion 2022 NDAA, both good and bad, check out this summary provided by the Senate Armed Services Committee

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