The Senate Armed Services Committee is debating military spending for 2022 this week, and some lawmakers want to massively increase the budget that President Biden has requested.
For the 2022 fiscal year, Biden requested about $753 billion for national security spending, including about $715 billion that will be the base budget for the Pentagon. According to a report from Military Times, one amendment being pushed by Republicans on the committee would increase the Defense Department’s budget by a whopping $25 billion.
Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK), the ranking member of the committee, said he believes the $25 billion increase might have bipartisan support. “I feel very confident about getting support, from Democrats too,” he said.
The increase in funding would be meant to give military services’ weapons and training programs that are not covered by Biden’s budget. For example, the Army wants an additional $1.1 billion for training and another $1.9 billion for aviation platforms and combat vehicles.
Biden’s massive budget request is not enough for Republican hawks who don’t think the administration is doing enough to compete with China, although the Pentagon has agreed that Beijing is the top “pacing threat” facing the US military. The draft budget puts a focus on new weapons technology research, which US military leaders see as vital to compete with China.