Biden requests historic $813B for Defense, defense-related programs

US President Joe Biden requested on Monday a historic $813 billion to fund the Department of Defense and defense-related programs at external agencies.

The funds include $773 billion in direct Pentagon funding, and an additional $40 billion to fund defense-related programs at other departments, including atomic energy-related activities at the Energy Department.

The $773 billion in discretionary Pentagon spending represents a 10% hike from levels enacted in the 2021 fiscal year.

The request to Congress "reinforces our commitment to the concept of integrated deterrence, allows us to better sequence and conduct operations around the globe that are aligned to our priorities, modernizes the Joint Force, and delivers meaningful support for our dedicated workforce and their families," Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said.

"Our department’s budget will help us continue to defend the nation, take care of our people and succeed through teamwork with our allies and partners," he said in a statement.

The budget proposal includes $56.5 billion for air power and associated platforms, $40.8 billion for naval power that includes funding for nine new warships, and $12.6 billion to modernize Army and Marine Corps fighting vehicles, according to the Pentagon.

Over $130 billion is being requested for research and development, which Austin said represents "an all-time high."

Service members and civilian Pentagon employees would also see a 4.6% pay increase, which the White House said is the "largest in a generation," and the Biden administration is seeking $479 million from lawmakers to implement recommendations from an independent commission that probed sexual assault in the military.

The proposal continues to maintain China is the Pentagon's "pacing challenge," and Austin said the proposal will "will help us prepare for other future challenges, as well, including those posed by climate change."

More than $3 billion is being allocated to meet the challenges presented by climate change.

Source: AA

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