A group of US arms makers and aerospace firms is urging Congress for a 2023 military budget that exceeds inflation by 3-5% and to pass the bill before September 30.
The Aerospace Industries Association (AIA), a trade group for defense firms whose members include Boeing, Raytheon, Northrop Grumman, and General Dynamics, sent a letter to the leaders of the appropriations and armed services committees.
In the letter, the AIA called for Congress to pass to authorize the spending before the start of the next fiscal year, which begins on October 1 for the federal government. The group said this was necessary to signal “resolve in the face of Russian and Chinese aggression.”
President Biden has asked Congress for $813 billion for military spending for the 2023 fiscal year, which represents about a 4% increase from 2022 without taking inflation into account. Inflation is currently over 8%, so the increase the arms makers are looking for would be a massive one.
“Three to five percent growth above the inflation rate is the level of investment required to support America’s global force, maintain our competitive edge over adversaries, and catch up technologically in areas where we are falling behind,” Eric Fanning, the president and CEO of the AIA, said in the letter.
After Biden asked for the $813 billion, hawks in Congress almost immediately began demanding more. Earlier this month, Deputy Defense Secretary Kathleen Hicks said that the Biden administration was willing to work with Congress to increase the already massive budget.
“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,” Hicks said.