Congress Presses Administration to
Increase the Massive Request
Dave DeCamp / AntiWar.com
(May 6, 2022) —Deputy Defense Secretary Kathleen Hicks said Friday that the Biden administration is ready to increase the president’s massive $813 billion military budget request for 2023 to keep up with inflation.
Biden’s request is more than $30 billion than what Congress authorized for 2022, representing a 4% increase. But with inflation reaching 8.5% in March, Congress wants to spend more.
Hicks said the administration is willing to work with Congress to create a budget that matches current inflation numbers. “Where inflation will be in September, let alone this time next year, we don’t know, but we want to work with Congress on the ‘23 budget to make sure we have the purchasing power for this program,” she said.
Hicks said if inflation soars higher than expected, the administration could always ask Congress for supplemental funds on top of the military budget.
Hawks in Congress are also looking to increase the budget because they feel it does not do enough to counter China, which the Pentagon’s National Defense Strategy has identified as the top “threat” facing the US military.
A group of lawmakers sent a letter to the leaders of the House Appropriations Committee calling for US Indo-Pacific Command to be given the full funds it requested after it appeared Biden’s planned budget didn’t give the command everything it wants.
Pentagon Draws $1.4 Billion to Replace Arms Sent to Ukraine
(May 6, 2022) — The Pentagon has transferred $1.4 billion out of a new Ukraine Replacement Transfer Fund to replenish the stockpiles of weapons the US has been sending to Ukraine, Washington Examiner reported Friday.
The $1.4 billion came from the $13.6 billion for Ukraine aid that was included in a spending bill President Biden signed into law in March. Out of the $1.4 billion, $1.1 billion will go to the Army to replenish Stinger anti-aircraft missile systems and Javelin anti-tank missile systems, and the Navy is receiving $370 million for Stingers.
Since Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, the US has sent Kyiv 5,500 Javelins and 1,400 Stingers. It’s estimated that the US has given Ukraine a third of its Javelin stockpiles and a quarter of its Stinger stockpile.
Earlier this week, President Biden visited a Lockheed Martin facility in Alabama that manufactures Javelins in a demonstration of his focus on arming Ukraine. Javelins are a joint project between Lockheed and Raytheon, while Stingers are solely produced by Raytheon, the former employer of Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin.
Since Russia’s attack, Biden has sent about $3.4 billion in military aid to Kyiv, and that number is set to increase dramatically. He has asked Congress for an additional $33 billion in new Ukraine aid, including $20.4 billion for military assistance.
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