Billion-Dollar Boost For the Defense Amid Russia Threat

The Senate Armed Services Subcommittee advanced its draft of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for the financial year 2023 on Wednesday.

This wound up increasing President Biden’s military budget estimates by almost $40 billion.

The Details

In a release, Chairman and Ranking Senator Armed Services Committee, Senator Jack Reed (D-RI), as well as Jim Inhofe (R-OK), said the advisory board voted 23-3 to forward the $45 billion addition to the yearly military policy bill.

During markups of the bill, the committee endorsed 223 bipartisan modifications, sending it to the House floor for a vote.

“I’m particularly pleased that, for the second year running, the panel nearly unanimously approved my proposal with the chairman, which would increase the defense spending by $45 billion this year,” Inhofe stated.

The committee’s version of the NDAA permits greater defense expenditure to combat inflationary pressures, assist Ukraine in its battle with Russia, and fund increased military building projects.

It also contains a 4.6 percent salary boost for military troops next year, as well as “new instruments and reforms” targeted at protecting servicemen and servicewomen, along with their families’ healthcare and well-being.

According to a description of the measure issued by the committee, it proposes a total of $857.64 billion in financing for national defense; this is the biggest proposal for military expenditure for the new financial year that has been offered thus far.

In March, Biden proposed spending $813 billion on military security, including $773 billion for the Army and $6.1 billion for the Pacific Missile defense Initiative in 2023.

The Senate National Guard Committee’s version of the NDAA would provide $817 billion for the Ministry of Defence, little under $30 billion for the Department of Energy, and $10 billion for defense-related programs not covered by the NDAA.

Ukraine Gets a Lump Sum

It also allows $800 million in military aid to Ukraine and $1 billion for the National Military Stockpile to procure strategic and crucial minerals that are in short supply.

It would likewise prolong the Pacific Deterrence Project (PDI) until 2023 and “order the creation of a cross-functional team to combine DOD initiatives to solve national security issues posed by China,” according to the bill.

The bill is named after Senator Jim Inhofe, who announced his resignation from the Senate in January and described the markup as “bittersweet.”

“We worked together in a nonpartisan way to build a good bill, as this committee has done for as long as I can recall.”

“We were able to improve national security in the face of extraordinary dangers, like those posed by China and Russia, while also caring for our troops and the families, who make such a tremendous sacrifice.”

“It’s not the bill I would have developed on my own,” Inhofe added, “but it’s a worthy bill that merits and has deservedly received broad support.”