The latest Defense Act, which will give the Pentagon $ 10 billion more than it requested, was announced when President Joe Biden promised to remove programs like free community college and elderly care from the Atonement Act to benefit all members to satisfy his party.
The Senate appropriators backed a 5 percent increase in defense spending for fiscal year 2022 and on Monday unveiled plans for additional military spending of $ 24 billion. The total defense bill is $ 725 billion – $ 10 billion more than Biden requested.
The announcement came as Biden and Democrats lawmakers were working on a compromise on a $ 3.5 trillion reconciliation bill that would expand social security and infrastructure spending programs.
Congress is expected to spend more than $ 7 trillion on the Pentagon over the next 10 years, which is more than double the cost of the Build Back Better Act over the same period.
However, Biden and the Democrats have worked to shrink their bill and find a compromise between progressive and moderate lawmakers.
Senator Jon Tester, a Democrat from Montana and chairman of the Defense Committee of the Senate Grants Committee, said in a statement that the proposed Defense Act “strengthens our military and ensures that the brave men and women who protect this country have the resources to they need to keep Americans safe. “
The bill provides for a 2.7 percent wage increase for all service members from January, an investment of $ 2.5 billion in the Pacific region to combat Chinese military tactics, and $ 4.3 billion to address preparedness and operational gaps in the to close the branches.
Grants Committee chairman Senator Patrick Leahy, a Vermont Democrat, said he hoped the measure would be passed along with the federal agency’s 11 other budget laws by December 3, which is the expiration of the current budget extension.
For the first time in more than 10 years, the bill contains no funding for foreign military operations, and the $ 3.3 billion earmarked to support the Afghan security forces has been reorganized into other areas. This included $ 1.6 billion for facility improvements, $ 1.3 billion for better infrastructure to develop modern weapons, and nearly $ 1.5 billion for upgrading National Guard equipment.
Appropriations Committee vice chairman Senator Richard Shelby, a Republican from Alaska, criticized the proposed spending bill, saying Democratic leaders need “a top-line agreement that doesn’t neglect our nation’s defense”.
His comments come as the Democrats in Congress struggle to make progress on the details and scope of their own reconciliation bill, which originally paid for free community college, childcare and universal pre-K, expansion of Medicare, lower prices on prescription drugs Family and medical care provided leaving and more.