U.S. House committee votes to up Biden defense budget plan by $37b
Updated 10:57, 23-Jun-2022
Two A-10 Thunderbolt II attack aircrafts fly at Whiteman Air Force Base in Missouri, U.S., March 28, 2022. /CFP

Two A-10 Thunderbolt II attack aircrafts fly at Whiteman Air Force Base in Missouri, U.S., March 28, 2022. /CFP

The U.S. House of Representatives Armed Services Committee on Wednesday backed a proposal to increase spending for the Department of Defense by $37 billion on top of the record $773 billion proposed by President Joe Biden.

The vote paved the way for a Pentagon budget of at least $810 billion next year after the Senate Armed Services Committee already backed a $45-billion increase in its version of the bill.

The two chambers will decide the ultimate level when they meet in conference on the bill at an undecided date.

The vote in favor of the $37-billion amendment to the annual National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) was 42-17, as more than a dozen Democrats joined Republicans in favor of higher spending. The amendment included $2.5 billion to help pay higher fuel costs, $550 million for Ukraine, funding for five ships, eight Boeing Co-made F-18 Super Hornet fighter jets, five Lockheed Martin Co-made C-130 Hercules planes, and about $1 billion for four Patriot missile units.

Speaking of the current international situation including the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict and North Korean (DPRK) missile tests, Democratic Representative Jared Golden said in a statement after the vote that the additional funding is necessary to meet the security challenges of our time, The Hill reported.  

Biden requested a record peacetime national defense budget of $813 billion which earmarked $773 billion for the Pentagon. About $40 billion of Biden's national defense budget is set aside for other national security-related programs at the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Department of Energy and other agencies.

Biden's budget requested a 4.6-percent pay raise for troops and the largest research and development budget in history.

Last year, the NDAA authorized $778 billion in defense spending, which was $25 billion more than requested by Biden.

(With input from agencies)

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