Defense Budget Gets $25 Billion Boost

Defense Budget Gets $25 Billion Boost

Paratroopers prepare for airborne operations
Photo by: Air National Guard/Staff Sgt. Patrick Evenson

The 2022 defense authorization bill approved by the Senate Armed Services Committee includes almost $25 billion more in military funding and additional money for Army modernization priorities.

The committee’s 61st annual National Defense Authorization Bill, unveiled July 22, authorizes $740.3 billion for DoD—up from the Biden administration’s request of $715 billion. It also grants $6 billion in general transfer authority for unforeseen higher priority needs.

Senators also endorsed the Army plan to hold active-duty troop strength at 485,000 soldiers while also providing a 2.7% pay raise for service members and DoD civilians. The legislation also amended the Military Selective Service Act to require women to register for Selective Service.

The committee authorizes “all other unfunded requirements as requested by the Chief of Staff of the Army,” according to a summary of the bill released by the committee. Earlier this summer, Army Chief of Staff Gen. James McConville submitted to Congress a wish list—or an unfunded requirements list—worth $4.4 billion and a request for $1 billion in fiscal 2022 to cover otherwise unbudgeted expenses for homeland and overseas operations.

The requests go beyond the Army’s fiscal 2022 budget request of $173 billion, which is a $3.6 billion reduction from fiscal 2021.

In its version of the bill, the Senate Armed Services Committee also increased research, development, test and evaluation funding for Army modernization priorities; supports the Army’s requested funding for rapid development and fielding of land-based long-range fires, including the Precision Strike Missile and Long-Range Hypersonic Weapon; and supports funding for the Future Long-Range Assault Aircraft and Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft.

Authority is provided for the Army’s Next-Generation Combat Vehicle programs, including Mobile Protected Firepower and the Optionally Manned Fighting Vehicle, while supporting procurement of enduring combat vehicles such as the Abrams tank and Bradley Fighting Vehicle.

The bill, which was approved by the committee on a 23-3 vote, now goes to the Senate floor for consideration. “This forward-looking legislation invests in people, platforms and infrastructure,” Sen. Jack Reed of Rhode Island, committee chairman, said in a statement.

Sen. Jim Inhofe of Oklahoma, the ranking member, called the bill “a big win for our national security” because of the increased funding for DoD.

A separate version of the NDAA will make its way through the House, with the House Armed Services Committee is scheduled to conduct markup through Sept. 1. Once the Senate and House pass their versions of the bill, they must be reconciled and approved by each chamber before a final version is sent to the president.

The executive summary of the Senate Armed Services Committee’s bill is available here.