US House Backs Record Military Spending Bill

On Thursday, the US House of Representatives approved legislation paving the way for the defense budget to hit a record $858B in 2023 — $45B more than proposed by Pres. Biden.

US House Backs Record Military Spending Bill
Image credit: Reuters

Facts

  • On Thursday, the US House of Representatives approved legislation paving the way for the defense budget to hit a record $858B in 2023 — $45B more than proposed by Pres. Biden.
  • The House approved a compromise version of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) by a count of 350-80. This surpassed the two-thirds majority required to send the bill to the Senate.
  • The fiscal 2023 bill allows a 4.6% pay increase for troops. It also purchases weapons, ships, aircraft, and military aid for both Taiwan and Ukraine.
  • The Senate is expected to vote on the bill next week. It could potentially be signed into law by Biden before the end of the month, continuing a 60-year stretch of passing the legislation into law.
  • In 2020, the US had the highest defense spending in the entire world at nearly $767B. China was the second biggest spender at nearly $245B; India came in third at $73B.

Sources: Reuters, Rferl, Defense, Our World in Data.

Narratives

  • Establishment-critical narrative, as provided by Slate. Beyond the headline-grabbing, non-spending provisions in this bill is a bloated budget that doesn’t even take into account inflation or what it’ll cost to replace weapons the US has given to Ukraine. The increased spending is just going to buy the military more weapons — and not even ones geared toward modern-day challenges and threats. This bill deserves more scrutiny from politicians, the press, and citizens.
  • Pro-establishment narrative, as provided by NY Times. For the US to fulfill its obligations to defend its allies across the globe, and defend itself, it needs even more spending. Military spending as part of the Gross Domestic Product is actually less than it has averaged over the past 50 years. All branches are short of personnel, ships are poorly maintained, and it’s doubtful the weapons industry would be able to meet the country’s needs in case of a conflict. There must be a commitment to spending more on US national defense.