Inflation hits the Pentagon: Biden requests defense budget increase

Biden’s $770B military budget will not ‘keep pace’ with inflation: Former defense official

Former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Roger Zakheim discusses President Biden looking into increasing his military budget. 

The cost of everything is on the rise across the U.S. with inflation sitting at a 40-year high, and now the price of national defense could be on its way to a new record: The Biden administration is reportedly seeking the highest Pentagon budget in history for next fiscal year.

President Joe Biden speaks about efforts to combat COVID-19, in the State Dining Room of the White House, Tuesday, March 2, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci / AP Newsroom)

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Sources told Reuters that President Biden is expected to ask Congress in the coming months for a defense budget base upwards of $770 billion, with add-ons possibly carrying it beyond $800 billion for fiscal year 2023 starting Oct. 1.

Comparatively, President Trump requested $752.9 billion in defense spending during his final year in office, which was bumped up by Congress by $25 billion to $778 billion for this fiscal year.

President Donald Trump speaks at the White House, Thursday, Nov. 5, 2020, in Washington.  (AP Photo/Evan Vucci / AP Newsroom)

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According to the outlet, the Pentagon is looking to use the additional funds for 2023 to modernize the military, with "top line" spending focused on salaries, tanks, and other priorities such as shipbuilding and jets. 

The sources also said the White House and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin are "more or less on par" with the requested amount, and that the budget "would benefit the biggest U.S. defense contractors including Lockheed, Northrup Grumman Corp and General Dynamics Corp."

U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin speaks during a news briefing at the Pentagon on January 28, 2022, in Arlington, Virginia. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images / Getty Images)

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The $778 billion defense budget for fiscal year 2022 accounts for around 3.7% of U.S. gross domestic product and 39% of total military spending globally. 

The second-highest spender on defense is China at 13% with an estimated expenditure of $252 billion, at roughly 1.7% of GDP, according to data from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute.

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