On Friday, President Joe Biden submitted his budget proposal for the 2022 fiscal year, which includes $715 billion in funding for the Department of Defense, a slight increase from the $704 billion budget for the 2021 fiscal year.
Biden’s 2022 defense budget request amounts to an approximately 1.5 percent defense spending increase over the 2021 defense budget. The number falls short of President Donald Trump’s $722 billion defense forecast for 2022.
The White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) said the funding request would fund programs to deter China, increase U.S. Navy shipbuilding, modernize the U.S. nuclear arsenal and invest in new long-range strike capabilities.
“The discretionary request prioritizes the need to counter the threat from
China as the Department’s top challenge,” OMB states. “The Department would also seek to deter destabilizing behavior by Russia. Leveraging the Pacific Deterrence Initiative and working together with allies and partners in the Indo-Pacific region and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, DOD would ensure that the United States builds the concepts, capabilities, and posture necessary to meet these challenges.”
The defense budget also includes funding for “climate resilience and energy efficiencies.” OMB states, “It is vital to national security that U.S. military installations, and the mission-critical capabilities these installations support, are resilient to climate-induced extreme weather. The discretionary request supports efforts to plan for and mitigate impacts of climate change and improve the resilience of DOD facilities and operations. The discretionary request also invests in power and energy research and development in order to improve installation and platform energy performance and optimize military capability.”
The $715 billion in defense spending is part of a larger 2022 federal budget request worth $1.5 trillion. The budget includes $769 billion in non-defense discretionary spending, an increase of about 16 percent over the 2021 budget.
On Friday, several Republican lawmakers issued a joint letter criticizing Biden’s military spending proposal, describing it as a “disappointing defense budget.”
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Senate Armed Services Committee Ranking Member Jim Inhofe (R-OK), Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Vice Chairman Marco Rubio (R-FL), Senate Budget Committee Ranking Member Lindsey Graham (R-SC), and Senate Appropriations Committee Vice Chairman Richard Shelby (R-AL) wrote, “President Biden recently said, ‘If we don’t get moving, [China] is going to eat our lunch.’ Today’s budget proposal signals to China that they should set the table. While President Biden has prioritized spending trillions on liberal wish list priorities here at home, funding for America’s military is neglected.”
“Over the past decade, China’s defense spending has increased by $200 billion, while America’s has decreased by $400 billion,” the Republican Senators wrote. “China’s military investments match its desire to out-compete America and hold our military forces at risk. President Biden’s defense spending cut doesn’t even keep up with inflation. Meanwhile, the non-defense discretionary budget increases by almost 20 percent in this budget on top of the trillions of dollars in new non-national security programs the administration is intent on spending this year.”