Deputy Defense Secretary Kathleen Hicks said Friday that the Biden administration is ready to increase the president’s massive $813 billion military budget request for 2023 to keep up with inflation.
Biden’s request is more than $30 billion than what Congress authorized for 2022, representing a 4% increase. But with inflation reaching 8.5% in March, Congress wants to spend more.
Hicks said the administration is willing to work with Congress to create a budget that matches current inflation numbers. “Where inflation will be in September, let alone this time next year, we don’t know, but we want to work with Congress on the ‘23 budget to make sure we have the purchasing power for this program,” she said.
Hicks said if inflation soars higher than expected, the administration could always ask Congress for supplemental funds on top of the military budget.
Hawks in Congress are also looking to increase the budget because they feel it does not do enough to counter China, which the Pentagon’s National Defense Strategy has identified as the top “threat” facing the US military.
A group of lawmakers sent a letter to the leaders of the House Appropriations Committee calling for US Indo-Pacific Command to be given the full funds it requested after it appeared Biden’s planned budget didn’t give the command everything it wants.