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Tuesday, June 28, 2022

House committee votes to up Biden defense budget plan by $37B

The House Armed Services Committee on Wednesday voted to approve approximately $37 billion more in military spending than President Biden proposed.

During a markup of the annual National Defense Authorization Act, the committee voted 42 to 17 to increase top-line spending from $802 billion to about $840 billion.  

The increase, which was opposed by committee Chairman Adam Smith (D-Wash.), was proposed in an amendment sponsored by Democratic Reps. Jared Golden (Maine) and Elaine Luria (Va.). The billions of extra dollars would go toward more aircraft, ships, assistance for Ukraine, as well as combatting the current inflation crisis “to improve servicemember quality of life,” according to a statement put out by Golden after the vote. 

“We need only look to world events in Ukraine, read reports regarding China’s plans and actions in the South China Sea, or simply read the latest headlines about Iranian nuclear ambitions and North Korean missile tests, as well as ongoing terrorist threats, in order to see why this additional funding is necessary to meet the security challenges of our time,” Golden said in the statement. 

The extra dollars bring the House committee’s version closer to the $857 billion bill the Senate Armed Services Committee passed last week. Both armed services committees have blasted past the Biden administration’s original $813 billion defense top line. 

Biden’s version, which is a 4 percent increase in defense spending for fiscal year 2023 compared to the year prior, has been criticized by Republicans and more moderate leaning Democrats for being unable to counter inflation and current world threats. 

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