US Senate clears FY19 $717bn National Defence Authorisation bill

6 August 2018 (Last Updated August 6th, 2018 11:20)

The US Senate has passed the fiscal year (FY) 2019 $717bn National Defence Authorisation bill, which is said to be crucial to rebuild and restore readiness.

The US Senate has passed the fiscal year (FY) 2019 $717bn National Defence Authorisation bill, which is said to be crucial to rebuild and restore readiness.

The approval from the Senate by an 87-10 vote comes after the House cleared the bill by a 359-54 majority.

In a statement, the US Defence Department welcomed the passage of the bill, saying that it will help boost military capabilities and lethality, in addition to bolstering the department’s alliances and partnerships.

US Defence Secretary James Mattis said: “I am grateful for the strong commitment of members on both sides of the aisle to pass this year’s National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) in record time.

“Together, they have demonstrated the deep and abiding bipartisan support our military enjoys. It is now our duty to implement these policies responsibly and ensure a culture of performance and accountability.”

“It is now our duty to implement these policies responsibly and ensure a culture of performance and accountability.”

The bill will now be sent to US President Donald Trump for his assent.

It proposes an increase in the US military’s authorised active-duty end strength by 15,600 and authorises a 2.6% pay hike for troops, which represents the largest raise in nine years, according to the Pentagon.

The NDAA also has provisions that seek to empower the Committee on Foreign Investment in the US to more effectively guard against the risk posed by foreign investment to national security.

As per the new bill, the government can provide waiver relief to key partners and allies from certain Russian-related sanctions.

Other provisions of the bill include strengthening cyber defences, and prioritising US Cyber Command readiness.