OAN Roy Francis
UPDATED 4:15 PM PT – Friday, December 23, 2022
President Joe Biden has signed the $858 billion defense bill that ends the military’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate into law on Friday morning.
The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) will allot $816.7 billion in funding to the Defense Department.
This act will authorize a 4.6% pay raise for military and civilian members of the Department of Defense and $45 billion more than originally requested to be able to counter the effects of inflation and speed up the implementation of the National Defense Strategy.
It will give $30.3 billion for national security programs in the Department of Energy and the Defense Facilities Safety Board, as well as $378 million for other defense-related activities.
The most notable part of this bill however, is that it will effectively end the COVID-19 vaccine mandate for military personnel. The mandate was put into effect by Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III on August on 24, 2021.
Even though Congress had approved the removal of the mandate, Austin still claims that the mandate is necessary in order to protect military readiness and still clearly supports the mandate.
The newly signed National Defense Authorization Act will fund the Defense Department through fiscal year 2023.