Biden Signs Defense Bill; Eliminates Military COVID Vaccine Mandate

BEIJING, CHINA - DECEMBER 05:  U.S Vice President Joe Biden speaks at a business leader breakfast at the The St. Regis Beijing hotel on December 5, 2013 in Beijing, China. U.S Vice President Joe Biden is on an official visit to China from December 4 to 5.  (Photo by Lintao Zhang/Getty Images)

At a glance

  • President Joe Biden signed Congress’ annual defense bill for 2023 into law Friday, giving his approval to a bill that overturns his own administration’s mandate that servicemembers must be fully vaccinated for COVID-19.
  • The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for 2023 authorizes $858 billion in spending on energy programs, the military and procurement, $45 billion more than the Biden administration’s initial request.
  • Biden expressed concerns over several provisions of the act in a statement Friday but made no mention of a GOP-sponsored item overturning the Department of Defense’s service-wide vaccine mandate, despite the administration’s robust opposition to the provision.

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