President Biden published a $5.8 trillion budget proposal late last month, hoping to appeal to moderates in Congress, amid a difficult election year for Democrats.
Even though the budget will inevitably spark partisan bickering, one aspect of the plan, defense expenditure, has already drawn criticism from both parties.
Both parties condemned a projected 4% boost in defense spending.
Many Republicans rejected the increase as inadequate, while some Democrats condemned it altogether.
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Army Gen. Mark Milley, told the House Armed Services Panel that inflation is “clearly greater than the estimate was in this budget.”
A budget sends a “clear message that we prioritize fiscal prudence, security and safety at home and abroad, and the expenditures needed to maintain our equitable progress and build a better America,” Biden said in a statement.
Biden claims his plan will cut the government budget, improve public safety and national security, and lower consumer costs.
The budget was received with criticism from both sides of the political aisle in Congress. Democratic leaders in both chambers attempted to project optimism while preparing for a protracted bargaining process.
In the end, Congress determines the proposal’s size and scope. Democratic Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer termed the budget “a positive picture of our country’s potential.”
In a statement, Pelosi claimed Biden’s budget would decrease consumer costs and raise wages, “while guaranteeing the wealthiest minority pay their fair share.”
As Pelosi put it, “the federal budget must reflect our national ideals. We hope to work with the Biden presidency to pass a budget that will help us continue building a better America.”
Call me crazy, but I think we can stop increasing our military budget now. pic.twitter.com/mDtKFykkWY
— Junaid Ahmed For Congress (IL-08) (@JunaidForUs) April 6, 2022
Republicans complained the budget was too big and would cause inflation, while devoting insufficient funds to the military, despite the increase.
The budget is “fundamentally detached from what the American people need,” says Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.
Inflation, Inflation, Inflation
After the budget was released, the Kentucky Republican declared on the Senate floor, “The Biden administration offers a mere 4% increase for defense.”
“That’s a nominal 4% gain before Democrats’ historical inflation. Now, inflation is roughly twice that.”
This Monday, Senate Minority Whip John Thune said adopting the president’s budget will worsen “our very catastrophic inflation situation.”
“No matter how the president spins it, his fiscal year 2023 budget is about raising taxes. More wasteful expenditures and greater misery for Americans,” Thune stated. “My Democratic colleagues should think twice before taxing hard-working Americans.”
Republicans criticized the total cost of the package and the lack of defense funding.
the military budget has to grow faster than inflation i guess pic.twitter.com/cBrNQ5vEPZ
— Edward Ongweso Jr (@bigblackjacobin) April 5, 2022
Some House Democrats opposed any increase in the military budget.
The Congressional Progressive Caucus remarked while Biden’s budget “has much to be appreciated, we have more work.”
“It is simply unconscionable that the president proposes record-high military expenditure after the conclusion of our longest war,” Reps. Pramila Jayapal, Mark Pocan, and Barbara Lee stated in a joint declaration.
Considering the Democrats’ razor-thin majority in the House, their reservations on defense expenditure may be tough to overcome.