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Although decreasing in real terms due to inflation, the budget is higher than Donald Trump's last request in 2020.
U.S. President Joe Biden plans to request a whopping $715 billion for his first Pentagon budget, signaling efforts to confront China and Russia by advancing hypersonic weapons and bolstering its War Fleet with ballistic missile submarines and unmanned ships.
This $715 billion for the Defense Department is 1.6 percent higher than the $704 billion approved for this year, but would amount to a decrease of about 0.4 percent in real, inflation-adjusted terms. The request is just the beginning of what is sure to be a vigorous debate in Congress over how much to spend on defense and how to finance it, according to congressional policy outlets.
Biden's proposal would include funds to address climate change as a national security priority, a reversal of Trump administration policies, as well as investments in energy, and energy research and development.
The White House Office of Management and Budget, in a statement detailing the Biden Administration's spending priorities, said on Friday that "it is vital to national security that U.S. military installations and the mission-critical capabilities that support these installations are resilient to climate change."
The Pentagon's budget proposal makes up the bulk of the $753 billion the White House plans for national security programs. That includes defense-related funding for the Department of Energy, which maintains the nation's nuclear weapons.
The Trump administration had planned to propose about $722 billion for the Defense Department in the fiscal year that begins Oct. 1, though lawmakers from both parties have predicted less will be available amid competing spending demands and growing deficits from COVID-19 pandemic aid packages.
The fiscal 2022 budget will be the first in a decade in which defense and non-defense spending are not constrained by budget caps, meaning Congress has the ability to shift funds from defense to non-defense spending or the other way around.
William Hartung, director of the Center for International Policy's Arms and Security Program and co-director of the Sustainable Defense Working Group said of this bill, "the Biden administration's decision to increase the Pentagon budget from near record levels is misguided and disappointing" and added, "as a candidate, President Biden claimed that the country could be safe with lower levels of spending."
Meanwhile, Gordon Adams, former head of the Office of Management and Budget and associate director for national security programs in the Clinton administration, said Biden "is missing the opportunity to bring much-needed discipline to defense planning and defense budgeting."
An administration official said part of the larger defense budget is earmarked for troop pay raises, ensuring they have all the equipment they need, as well as competing with China.