House passes defense bill requiring Afghan probe, China strategy

The bill establishes a commission on the Afghanistan War and directs the president to develop a strategy for China.

Updated: December 7, 2021 - 11:21pm

The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook

The House passed the $768 billion 2022 National Defense Authorization Act with some unusual provisions, such as establishing an investigative commission to examine the war in Afghanistan and directing President Joe Biden to create a "Grand Strategy with Respect to China."

Both chambers of Congress agreed to the final version of the bill, which will change how the military handles sexual assault, CNN reports. 

The bill also includes a below rate-of-inflation pay increase of 2.7% for service members and civilian defense employees. 

The independent Afghanistan War Commission will require the Secretary of Defense to provide counter-terrorism reports, as well as information on U.S. civilians and military equipment left in the Taliban-controlled nation. 

In addition to requesting the president to develop a China strategy, according to CNN, the bill "also directs DoD put together several reports on China's activities, from their military and security developments, modernization technologies for their military applications, to their strategy in Latin American and the Caribbean."

Congress on Monday dropped a portion of the bill that would have required women to register for the military draft. The provision may have been cut in order to gain Republican support for the Democrat's proposed changes to the military justice system.