Congress Ramps Up Efforts to Increase $813 Billion Military Budget for 2023

Hawks in Congress and US weapons makers want more military spending to match inflation

Efforts to add more to President Biden’s requested 2023 military budget are ramping up as hawks in Congress and US weapons makers are calling for more spending, Politico reported on Thursday.

Biden asked for an $813 billion military budget, which represents about a 4% increase from the $782 billion that was approved for 2022. But with inflation over 8%, Congress wants more, and the Biden administration appears poised to agree.

“I just think we have everything on our side on this thing,” said Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK), the leading Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee. “We ought to be able to get the adequate increases that we want.”

While the push is being led by Republicans, many Democrats also favor a spending hike. It’s not clear at this point what sort of increase Congress will approve. Some Republicans are calling for a 5% increase on top of inflation, which would require a massive boost.

The US military services have put together a list of $17.8 billion in possible spending that wasn’t included in Biden’s budget request that could be added to the $813 billion.

In May, a group of US arms makers and aerospace firms sent a letter to congressional leaders of the appropriations and armed services committees that called for an increase to the 2023 budget.

The letter was sent by the Aerospace Industries Association (AIA), a trade group for defense firms whose members include Boeing, Raytheon, Northrop Grumman, and General Dynamics. The AIA wants to see an increase of 3-5% over inflation.

The main justification Republican hawks and the AIA use to call for more military spending is China, which the Pentagon has named the top “threat” facing the US military. With this in mind, some House lawmakers have requested an increase in spending for US Indo-Pacific Command.

Deputy Defense Secretary Kathleen Hicks has already signaled that the Biden administration is willing to add on to the $813 billion 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 last month.

Author: Dave DeCamp

Dave DeCamp is the news editor of, follow him on Twitter @decampdave.