Biden asks for $715 billion for Pentagon, holding defense spending essentially flat

Top-line discretionary request provides bigger boost for domestic spending

The White House on Friday released its initial framework of President Biden’s proposed budget for fiscal 2022, which gives only a slight boost in funding for the Pentagon and a bigger increase for domestic spending programs in areas such as housing, climate change and gun control.

The total discretionary request includes $769 billion for spending on domestic priorities and $753 billion for defense — increases of 16% and 1.7% respectively compared with 2021.

The proposal includes $715 billion for the Pentagon — a slight uptick from the 2021 enacted level of $704 billion, but undoubtedly less of a boost than Republicans and defense hawks want to see.

“We certainly hope people look at the full scope here,” an administration official told reporters on a call previewing the request. “The focus will be on investments on non-defense but also ensuring the Defense Department can continue its strategic goals as we out-compete China and as we ensure that the men and women in uniform have everything that they need.”