Record Pentagon budget for 2023 to focus on Ukraine aid, build-up against China and Russia.
US President Joe Biden has proposed the largest-ever military budget, asking Congress for $813.3 billion in the coming year – $31 billion more than the budget approved for 2022. Lawmakers are likely to add even more funding, as representatives from both parties have complained it doesn’t go far enough because of inflation.
“I’m calling for one of the largest investments in our national security in history, with the funds needed to ensure that our military remains the best-prepared, best-trained, best-equipped military in the world,” Biden said in a statement on Monday.
While the proposed budget is the highest-ever dollar amount in US history, inflation means that in real terms it would be a 1.5% increase rather than the nominal 4%. Democrats and Republicans alike on Capitol Hill have pushed for a 5-7% increase instead, according to Politico. Congress had approved $782 billion for the current fiscal year.
The White House draft seeks $773 billion for the Pentagon alone, with the rest going to the Department of Energy, which maintains the US nuclear arsenal.
Biden is asking for an additional $682 million for Ukraine, “to counter Russian malign influence and to meet emerging needs related to security, energy, cybersecurity issues, disinformation, macroeconomic stabilization, and civil society resilience,” a budget document says.