Center for American Progress

RELEASE: Biden, Congress Face Challenges in Approving 2023 Defense Budget
Press Release

RELEASE: Biden, Congress Face Challenges in Approving 2023 Defense Budget

Washington, D.C. — The Biden administration and Congress face several challenges as they work to finalize an FY 2023 defense budget that supports U.S. national security in a cost-effective manner, according to a new issue brief from the Center for American Progress.

The defense budget could top $1 trillion as lawmakers consider a range of factors, including U.S. support for Ukraine; pay raises; more troops, ships, planes, and tactical nuclear weapons; the European Defense Initiative; and spending adjustments to account for inflation.

“The Biden administration and Congress can pay for these increases with higher taxes, allow the deficit to grow, or make the hard choices necessary to bring the defense budget under control,” said Lawrence Korb, co-author of the report and a senior fellow at CAP.

The report organizes the challenges into eight categories:

  • Deciding which base amount to use in calculating the size of the increase in the top line of the FY 2023 budget
  • Determining which rate of inflation to use in calculating the size of the total budget
  • Determining which rate of inflation to use in deciding on the size of the annual pay raises for the 2.2 million active duty and reserve personnel and the 1.9 million military retirees
  • Calculating the size of the actual increase of the overall defense budget
  • Selecting the types of weapons to be built and the level of funding for the nuclear modernization program
  • Determining how to modernize and grow the Navy
  • Selecting the rate of purchases for the tri-service F-35 Joint Strike Fighter
  • Determining additional changes to the size and distribution of the FY 2023 budget due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, since the budget was prepared prior to the invasion

Read the issue brief: “A Trillion-Dollar Defense Budget?” by Lawrence Korb and Kaveh Toofan

For more information, or to speak with an expert, please contact Sam Hananel at shananel@americanprogress.org.