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House passes defense bill scrapping COVID vaccine mandate

KEYT

By KEVIN FREKING
Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — A bill to rescind the COVID-19 vaccine mandate for members of the U.S. military has passed the House. The bill approved Thursday directs Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin to rescind his 2021 order requiring COVID vaccination. The bill also provides nearly $858 billion for national defense, which is about $45 billion more than President Joe Biden requested. Lawmakers said the added spending is needed to help the U.S. military keep an edge over China and Russia. This year’s bill also supports a $4.6% pay raise for military members and the Defense Department’s civilian workers. The Senate is expected to approve the bill soon.

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