The Senate Armed Services Committee on Thursday released its version of the 2023 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that would authorize $857.6 billion in military spending for the 2023 fiscal year, a massive increase from the $813 billion President Biden requested.
Out of the $857.6 billion, about $817.3 billion will go to the Pentagon, $29.7 billion will go to the Energy Department’s nuclear weapons program, and $10.6 billion is allocated for military-related spending outside of the NDAA.
The Committee, which has 13 Republicans and 13 Democrats, approved the massive spending bill in a vote of 23-3. The increase from what Biden requested was expected as lawmakers wanted to tack on a 3-5% increase over inflation. Biden’s initial $813 billion request was a 4% increase from what was authorized for 2022.
The NDAA now goes to the Senate floor and will need to be reconciled with the House version in conference. The House Armed Services Committee has yet to release its version of the spending bill.
The House Appropriations Committee offered draft bills that gave the Pentagon $776.8 billion, but the House Armed Services Committee is expected to increase the budget. It’s not clear at this point if the House increase will be as significant as the Senate’s.
Some Democrats oppose raising Biden’s request, including progressives that want to slash the budget. But there is enough support among Democrats for an increase in the tens of billions to pass as most Republicans favor the idea.
Once approved, it will mark the second year in a row that Congress blows past what Biden has asked for. For the 2022 budget, the president requested $753 billion, which was ultimately raised to $782 billion.