President Biden signed the $768 billion National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for fiscal year (FY) 2022 into law on Dec. 27, the White House announced.

The Senate passed the NDAA bill by an 89-10 vote on Dec. 15, and the House passed the bill on Dec. 7 by a similarly bipartisan 363-70 vote. The annual defense spending bill has now been passed 61 years in a row.

“The Act provides vital benefits and enhances access to justice for military personnel and their families, and includes critical authorities to support our country’s national defense,” President Biden said upon signing the legislation into law.

The bill includes a number of provisions designed to boost cyber capabilities and operations at Federal agencies and across the Department of Defense, as well as increase research and development funding defense-wide by nearly 25 percent. Additionally, the bill incorporates recommendations from the National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence.

Although signing the bill is a critical step, the NDAA does not authorize any funding until Congress passes a wider appropriations bill for FY2022.

“We can all stand up here on the Senate floor and back at home, declaring our unwavering support for our troops and their families, and claiming to support a strong national defense, but until we put our money where our mouth is and provide the funding we say we support, those words ring hollow. The NDAA is an important piece of legislation,” Senate Appropriations Chairman Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., said in a statement.

“Let’s get to work negotiating full-year appropriations bills that address our country’s many needs, including our country’s national defense,” Sen. Leahy said.

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Grace Dille
Grace Dille
Grace Dille is MeriTalk's Assistant Managing Editor covering the intersection of government and technology.