On Wednesday night, the Senate voted to move the massive $778 billion 2022 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) to the floor, but it’s not clear when the debate on the military spending bill will begin.
The Senate voted 84 to 15 to move the NDAA to the floor. The vote was expected to take place early on Wednesday, but it was delayed by Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), who attempted to add a major piece of legislation aimed at competing with China to the spending bill.
Schumer tried to add the US Innovation and Competition Act to the NDAA, which calls for about $250 billion in spending, including $52 billion to subsidize US semiconductor manufacturing and $195 billion to fund research and development.
The China legislation has stalled in the House, but Schumer reached a deal with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) for the two chambers of Congress to bring the bill to conference and dropped it from the NDAA.
The House has passed its version of the NDAA in September, which is also for $778 billion, $25 billion more than President Biden requested. Some lawmakers are hoping to add even more to the military budget. The Senate will vote on an amendment introduced by Sen. Roger Wicker (R-MS) that would add another $25 billion to the NDAA for Navy shipyards.
The Senate will also vote on an amendment introduced by Sen. Time Kaine (D-VA) that would repeal the authorizations for the use of military force (AUMF) that were passed in 1991 and 2002 to wage wars against Iraq.