Republican leadership in Congress has blasted President Biden’s massive $886 billion military budget request for 2024 as “inadequate” even as House GOP members claim they want to cap spending, Defense News reported Friday.
House Republicans favor a plan to cap discretionary spending for the fiscal year 2024 at 2022 levels. But military spending accounts for about half of the discretionary spending each year, and few Republicans favor rolling back the Pentagon’s budget.
“A budget that proposes to increase non-defense spending at more than twice the rate of defense is absurd,” Rep. Mike Rogers (R-AL), the chair of the House Armed Services Committee, said in a statement in response to Biden’s request. “The President’s incredibly misplaced priorities send all the wrong messages to our adversaries.”
Sen. Roger Wicker (R-MS), the ranking member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, called Biden’s massive request “woefully inadequate.” Rep. Ken Calvert (R-CA), the chair of the House Appropriations Committee’s defense panel, said Biden was “prioritizing misguided domestic spending and partisan priorities over our warfighting needs.”
The comments are a sign that, like in previous years, Congress will likely add tens of billions to Biden’s military spending request. For the 2023 fiscal year, Biden requested $813 billion, but Congress added $45 billion, bringing the finalized National Defense Authorization Act to $858 billion. For the 2022 spending levels, Biden asked for $753 billion but was handed nearly $778 billion.