Service members would receive a 2.7-percent increase in basic pay on Jan. 1, under the $777.7 billion defense-spending bill that passed the Senate Dec. 15 by an 88-11 vote. The bill cleared the House 363-70 and heads to President Biden, who is expected to sign it into law.Other provisions include:
• Changes to the Uniform Code of Military Justice that strengthen protections for sexual-assault victims, and enhance the way crimes such as murder, manslaughter, kidnapping and other crimes are investigated and prosecuted.
• Investments in submarines, battle force ships, aircraft and vehicles.
• Extension of both the Pacific and European deterrence initiatives, to bolster U.S. posture and presence in these regions.
• Strengthening the supply chain that supports the defense industrial base.
• Modernization of technologies relating to hypersonic weapons, artificial intelligence, quantum technologies and biotechnologies.
• Establishment of a commission to study U.S. actions in Afghanistan between 2001 and 2021.
• A military construction budget exceeding President Biden’s request by $3.5 billion.
• Maintenance and modernization of the nuclear deterrent.
• Advancement of missile defense systems and programs.
• Establishment of an independent commission to review planning, programming, budgeting and execution.
• Advancements in the Defense Department’s cybersecurity strategy and capabilities.