On April 9, President Biden submitted his administration’s fiscal year 2022 DOD budget request. The president is asking for $715 billion – a slight increase from $704 billion allocated by Congress for fiscal 2021.
According to the White House, the funding request invests in the core foundations of our country’s strength and advances key Department of Defense priorities to defend the nation, innovate and modernize the Department, build resilience and readiness, take care of its people and succeed through teamwork.
“The pursuit of our national security interests requires investments that target and align our priorities and capabilities to address the constantly evolving and dynamic threat landscape,” said Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin. “The president’s discretionary funding request represents an important investment that will ensure the Department’s resources are matched with our strategy and policy to defend the nation and take care of our people, while revitalizing the key alliances and partnerships to succeed.”
The request released April 9 includes only top-line numbers for each area of government.
Main takeaways from the president’s DOD budget request:
* Defends the Nation. The request addresses threats to the nation by prioritizing the need to counter the pacing threat from China as the department’s top challenge, deterring nation-state threats emanating from Russia, Iran and North Korea, funding investments in long-range strike capabilities to bolster deterrence and improve survivability, and promoting climate resilience and energy efficiencies.
* Innovates and Modernizes. The discretionary request makes key investments in technology and modernizes the force. The department will support defense research and development to spur innovation, optimize U.S. Navy shipbuilding, modernize the nuclear deterrent, and invest in hypersonics, artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, microelectronics, and quantum science. In order to prioritize these key investments, the department will propose to redirect resources to its top priority programs, platforms, and systems by divesting legacy systems with less utility in current and future threat environments.
* Maintains and Enhances Readiness. Our Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and Guardians remain the best trained and equipped force in the world and are always ready to fulfill our most solemn obligation to protect the security of the American people. The discretionary request maintains and enhances readiness while addressing threats to readiness, including hate group activity within the military, and prioritizing strong protections against harassment and discrimination.
* Takes Care of Our People. Our military members, families and civilian personnel are key to the readiness and well-being of the all-volunteer force, and therefore are critical to our national security. The discretionary request prioritizes programs that enable the growth and development of our workforce; improves recruiting, retention, training and education; and directly supports military spouses, caregivers, survivors, and dependents. A major element to readiness and the development of our people remains our diversity and the opportunities afforded to all. Therefore, through its focus on personnel readiness, this request will help us achieve a more diverse and effective workforce.
These discretionary investments reflect only one element of the president’s broader agenda.
In the coming months, the administration will release a budget that will build on this discretionary funding request and detail a comprehensive fiscal vision for the Nation that reinvests in America, supports future growth and prosperity, meets U.S. commitments, and does so in a fiscally sustainable way.
The ball is now in Congress’ court as the House and Senate begin work on the two annual defense bills – the authorization bill, and the appropriations bill. However, many in Congress are already laying out their red lines when it comes to spending.
Biden’s request is already receiving pushback from both sides of the political aisle as progressives feel the requested amount it too high, while others feel it is too low.