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Vanessa Guillen: Pres. Biden signs the National Defense Authorization Act into law

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) – President Joe Biden signed the National Defense Authorization Act into law Monday, authorizing $768.2 billion in military spending, including a 2.7% pay increase for members service staff, for 2022.

The NDAA authorizes a 5% increase in military spending and is the product of intense negotiations between Democrats and Republicans on issues ranging from reform of the military justice system to requests for a COVID-19 vaccine. for soldiers.

“The Act provides important benefits and increases access to justice for service members and their families, and includes agencies critical to supporting our nation’s defense,” Biden said. in a statement.

The $768.2 billion price tag is $25 billion more than Biden’s initial request from Congress, a proposal that was previously rejected by members of both sides over fears it would undermine the effort. of the United States in keeping the military pace with China and Russia.

The new bill passed earlier this month with bipartisan support, with Democrats and Republicans touting victory in the final package.

Democrats welcomed provisions in the bill that would amend the way the military justice system handles sexual assault and other related crimes, giving prosecution jurisdiction over such crimes. effectively from the hands of military commanders.

WATCH: Vanessa Guillen: Remember Her Name

This change is welcome news for the family of Vanessa Guillen, a military professional from Houston, and survivors of sexual trauma in the military. They have long said soldiers do not report abuse, out of fear of reprisals. Guillen’s family has long alleged that she was sexually harassed before being killed by another soldier while serving the country.
“It’s a bittersweet feeling,” said Guillen’s sister, Mayra, posted on Instagram. “The loss of my sister created the biggest change in military law in history. I’ve been waiting for this day for a long time.”

Meanwhile, Republicans have touted success in blocking an attempt to add women to the draft, as well as including a provision prohibiting the despicable discharge of service members who refuse vaccines. COVID-19.

The bill includes $7.1 billion for the Pacific Deterrence Initiative and declares congressional support for Taiwan’s defense, measures aimed at countering Chinese influence in the region.

It also includes $300 million for the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative, a backing in the face of Russian aggression, as well as $4 billion for the European Defense Initiative.

In his statement, the president also outlined several provisions his administration objected to about what he considers “constitutional concerns or questions of construction.”

Those plans include provisions restricting the use of funds for the transfer or release of individuals detained at the Guantanamo Bay detention facility, which the Biden administration is about to close. Biden’s statement said the provisions “seriously undermine” the ability of law enforcement to decide when and where to prosecute detainees and where to take them when they are released, and could constrain U.S. negotiations with foreign countries about the transfer of detainees in a way that could undermine National Security.

The law also contains provisions banning goods made by Uighur forced labor in China from entering the US and begins drawing up plans for a new Global War on Terror, which would be the latest addition to the country. National Mall.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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https://abc13.com/vanessa-guillen-ndaa-national-defense-authorization-act-2021-status/11394250/ Vanessa Guillen: Pres. Biden signs the National Defense Authorization Act into law

Dais Johnston

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