President Biden’s requested $753 billion for the 2022 fiscal year for military spending, an increase from the approximately $740 billion that was allocated by the 2021 National Defense Authorization Act.
About $715 billion would go directly to the Pentagon, up from about $704 billion for 2021. The increase in military spending is being framed as a “slight increase” by many media outlets. But the additional tens of billions of dollars will make it the highest US military budget of all time.
To justify the exorbitant amount of spending, the Pentagon said it was needed to confront China, which it views as the top threat to the United States. “The discretionary request addresses threats to the Nation by prioritizing the need to counter the pacing threat from China as the Department’s top challenge,” the Pentagon said in a statement on the request.
Biden’s request drew criticism from progressive Democrats who believe the US should slash its military budget to prioritize domestic spending. “Biden just proposed a $715 billion budget for the Pentagon,” Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA) said on Facebook. “Trump’s budget was only $704 billion. We should be returning toward Obama levels. Not pouring more money into price gouging defense contractors & wasteful projects.”
The request also drew criticism from Republican hawks who want to see more military spending. Senators Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Jim Inhofe (R-OK), Marco Rubio (R-FL), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), and Richard Shelby (R-AL) released a joint statement on the budget request.
The statement reads: “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.” The senators claimed China “aspires to overtake America as the world’s dominant superpower,” which has become a common talking point in Washington.