Senate Republicans Secured ‘Robust Defense Spending’ At The Expense Of Democrats’ Liberal Spending

Senior Democrats Are Upset That The Appropriations Legislation Grows Defense Spending At The Expense Of Liberal Domestic Programs Yet This Funding Is Essential To Sustaining American Forces And Equipping Them To Confront Threats From Russia, China, And Others


SENATE REPUBLICAN LEADER MITCH McCONNELL (R-KY): “President Biden’s proposal for fiscal year 2023 was a massive, real-dollar increase for liberal domestic spending and a significant real-dollar cut for the national defense. Thanks to tireless work from Senator Shelby and a number of our colleagues, the government funding bill that we’ll be taking up this week does exactly the reverse of what the Biden Administration wanted. This bill will significantly grow the baseline for defense and significantly cut the baseline for non-defense, non-veterans, after inflation. A big real-dollar increase for the defense baseline, and a big real-dollar cut for the non-defense, non-veterans baseline.” (Sen. McConnell, Remarks, 12/20/2022)

  • LEADER McCONNELL: “This is an impressive outcome for the Republican negotiators, and more importantly, it is the outcome that our country needs — to keep helping Ukraine and our other friends; to keep out-innovating and outcompeting Russia and China; and to keep our brave men and women in uniform equipped with the best training, tools, and technologies the world has ever seen.” (Sen. McConnell, Remarks, 12/20/2022)
  • LEADER McCONNELL: “[T]here was some discussion that Democrats might only agree to make sufficient investments in our Armed Forces if they got to jack up domestic spending even higher, as compensation. Of course, that didn’t make any sense either. The Commander-in-Chief’s own political party does not get to take our troops hostage in order to demand even more unrelated goodies. Republicans’ position all along was very simple: Defending America and out-competing our rivals is a fundamental governing duty. It is the basic business that we’re supposed to take care of. Not something for which Democrats get special rewards. And that’s precisely what is finally happening. Compared to where the negotiations started, we have transferred huge sums of money away from Democrats’ spending wish list, toward our national defense and Armed Forces — but without allowing the overall cost of the package to go any higher.” (Sen. McConnell, Remarks, 12/20/2022)
  • LEADER McCONNELL: “From where we stand today, there are two options before us. Number one: We can pass this bill; give our servicemembers and commanders the resources they need; flip the President’s broken budget request on its head; and actually cut baseline non-defense, non-veterans spending in real dollars while we’re at it. Or number two: We can fail to pass this bill and give our Armed Forces confusion and uncertainty while the Chinese Communist Party continues to help their military commanders pour money into new research and weapons. Between the two actual options before us, it’s not a close call. The Senate should pass this bill.” (Sen. McConnell, Remarks, 12/20/2022)

SENATE APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE VICE CHAIRMAN RICHARD SHELBY (R-AL): “Since day one, I have insisted on increasing defense funding well above the President’s request without similar increases in wasteful liberal non-defense spending.  I’m pleased that this package meets the level set by the NDAA last week, which is $76 billion over last year – an increase of 10%.... And, once again, we rejected all poison pills while preserving crucial legacy riders…. This process was far from perfect, but ultimately it allowed Republican redlines to be adhered to and because of that I will urge my colleagues to support this package.  We need to do our job and fund the government.” (U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee Vice Chairman, Press Release, 12/20/2022)


Senate Republicans ‘Insisted On Robust Defense Spending,’ And ‘Democrats Bowed To Conservative Opposition To Approving A Larger Increase’ For Domestic Spending Programs

“The final numbers include $858 billion in defense-related spending, a nearly 10 percent, or $76 billion, increase over the previous fiscal year, which Republicans celebrated. That figure includes a 4.6 percent pay raise for military servicemembers and Pentagon civilian employees…. Senate Republicans claimed to have held nondefense funds outside of VA medical care to a below-inflation increase of 5.5 percent.” (Roll Call, 12/20/2022)

“To assuage Republicans, who insisted on robust defense spending, the omnibus included more than $800 billion for the Pentagon and related programs.”(“Congress Unveils $1.7 Trillion Deal To Fund Government, Avert Shutdown,” The Washington Post, 12/20/2022)

“Other ‘wins’ GOP lawmakers touted include retaining the so-called Hyde amendment language, which blocks federal funding for abortion in most cases; rejecting ‘radical environmental and climate policies’; and flat-funding the IRS. Republicans have repeatedly lambasted the $80 billion, 10-year increase Democrats granted the tax collection agency in this year's partisan budget reconciliation law.” (Roll Call, 12/20/2022)


Even The Senate’s Number 2 Democrat, Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL), ‘Acknowledged That Republicans Got More Of What They Wanted,’ Lamenting That Leader McConnell Is ‘In A Bargaining Position He’s Taking Advantage Of’ To Increase Funding For Defense

“Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin said on Monday that he was ‘disappointed’ about how the split between defense and nondefense funding was shaping up, noting that McConnell ‘is in a bargaining position that he’s taking advantage of.’” (“Lawmakers Unveil Government Funding Bill To Stave Off Friday Shutdown,” Politico, 12/20/2022)

  • “McConnell gloated Monday afternoon on the Senate floor, touting that defense spending received an increase and nondefense spending a decrease when inflation is taken into consideration. ‘President Biden wanted to cut defense spending and grow liberal domestic spending in real dollars. But Congress is rejecting the Biden administration’s vision and doing the exact opposite,’ McConnell said. Durbin acknowledged that Republicans got more of what they wanted. ‘He’s in a bargaining position he’s taking advantage of,’ Durbin said of McConnell.” (The Early 202, The Washington Post, 12/20/2022)
  • “Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin (Ill.) expressed disappointment on Monday afternoon that nondefense social spending programs will receive a smaller increase than defense programs but he noted that Democrats didn’t have much leverage to insist on parity. McConnell is ‘in a bargaining position,’ Durbin said, and ‘taking advantage of his leverage.’ ‘I don’t like it but we’re in a pretty desperate situation,’ Durbin added …” (“McConnell: Omnibus Boosts Defense Spending, Cuts Nondefense Spending,” The Hill, 12/19/2022)


The Government Funding Agreement Fully Funds This Year’s NDAA And Increases Defense Spending By 10% Over The Previous Year

“Congressional leaders unveiled a $1.7 trillion federal spending package Tuesday that will provide $858 billion next year for national defense and $45 billion for Ukraine to battle Russia’s invading armed forces. The bill calls for a 10% funding increase for defense compared to last year and exceeds President Joe Biden’s request for Ukraine aid by about $7 billion. It also includes a 22% spending boost for veterans’ medical care in fiscal 2023, which began Oct. 1. The appropriations legislation, called an omnibus, funds the priorities and programs outlined in the recently passed 2023 National Defense Authorization Act.” (“Government Funding Bill For 2023 Raises Defense Spending To $858B, Boosts Aid To Ukraine,” Stars And Stripes, 12/20/2022)


Secretaries Of Defense Of Both Parties Agree That ‘No Strategy Can Survive Without The Necessary Stable, Predictable Funding,’ ‘We Can’t Outcompete China With Our Hands Tied Behind Our Back’

FORMER SECRETARY OF DEFENSE JAMES MATTIS: “Our military remains capable, but our competitive edge has eroded in every domain of warfare: air, land, sea, cyber, and space. Under frequent continuing resolutions and sequesters, budget caps, our advantages continue to shrink. The combination of rapidly changing technology, the negative impact on military readiness resulting from the longest continuous stretch of combat in our Nation’s history, and insufficient funding have created an overstretched and under-resourced military.” (U.S. House of Representatives Armed Services Committee Hearing, 2/06/2018)

  • FORMER SEC. MATTIS: “If we are to sustain our military's primacy, we need budget predictability. … [N]o strategy can survive without the necessary stable, predictable funding. Failure to modernize our military risks leaving us with a force that could dominate the last war but be irrelevant to tomorrow's security.” (U.S. House of Representatives Armed Services Committee Hearing, 2/06/2018)

SECRETARY OF DEFENSE LLOYD AUSTIN: “The Department of Defense (DoD) once again faces the threat of an extended continuing resolution (CR) to fund our programs and operations into the new year. It is essential that Congress act now to complete a full-year, whole of government funding bill before the end of 2022. Failure to do so will result in significant harm to our people and our programs and would cause harm to national security and our competitiveness. At a time when many in Congress are strongly supporting the funding level we requested for fiscal year 2023, or advocating for additional funding, operating under a CR moves our budget backward, not forward … The impact of these cuts is compounded the longer our ability to enter into contracts is delayed. The CR costs us time as well as money, and money can’t buy back time, especially for lost training events. Under the CR, Congress prohibits the military from commencing new initiatives, such as those requested by our theater commanders in the Indo-Pacific and around the world or in support of Service members and their families at home. … We must break this pattern of inaction. We can’t outcompete China with our hands tied behind our back three, four, five or six months of every fiscal year. … I strongly urge you to act decisively – now – to meet America’s needs and support our forces who support all of us, by immediately reaching a bipartisan, bicameral agreement on full-year 2023 appropriations for DoD and all agencies. As I have said before, it’s not only the right thing to do, it’s the best thing you can do for our Nation’s defense.” (Sec. Austin, Letter to Sens. Schumer and McConnell, 11/28/2022)


The FY 2023 Appropriations Bill Funds Key Provisions From The NDAA To Give American Forces And American Allies The Ability To Counter China As The ‘Most Consequential Strategic Competitor’

“The national security challenges before the United States are momentous. In its 2022 National Defense Strategy (NDS), the Department of Defense judges China as the ‘most consequential strategic competitor and the pacing challenge for the Department,’ and identifies Russia as an ‘acute threat.’ These global rivals do not accept the international norms that have helped maintain peace and stability for the better part of a century, and our long-term strategic competition with China and Russia is likely to intensify. … The interconnected nature of these and other threats will drive how the United States resources and transforms its tools of national power to rise to the challenge. The passage of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2023 is an important step toward achieving that goal.” (“Fiscal Year 2023 National Defense Authorization Act,” U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee, 10/11/2022)

The Bill Would Fund Critical Measures To Continue Modernizing, Expanding, And Replenishing American Military Equipment And Capabilities

The FY 2023 NDAA authorizes more aircraft for electronic warfare, air superiority, ground attack, and refueling, as well as more drone aircraft. (“Summary of the Fiscal Year 2023 National Defense Authorization Act,” U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee, 12/06/2022)

“Supports the Army's focus on priority modernization efforts, to include long-range fires, future vertical lift, next-generation combat vehicles, and air and missile defense.” (“Summary of the Fiscal Year 2023 National Defense Authorization Act,” U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee, 12/06/2022)

“Authorizes more than $2.7 billion for additional munitions production and capacity expansion for increased future production…. Authorizes $5.9 billion for the procurement of 2,365 Navy munitions, an increase of $1.1 billion over the President’s budget request.” (“Summary of the Fiscal Year 2023 National Defense Authorization Act,” U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee, 12/06/2022)

“Authorizes $32.6 billion for Navy shipbuilding, an increase of $4.7 billion, which includes the procurement of 11 battle force ships …” (“Summary of the Fiscal Year 2023 National Defense Authorization Act,” U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee, 12/06/2022)

The FY 2023 NDAA Prioritizes New Capabilities Necessary For ‘Long-Term Strategic Competition With China’

“Supports the DOD in its mission to meet the objectives of the 2022 National Defense Strategy, including defending the U.S. homeland; deterring adversaries; prevailing in longterm strategic competition; and building a resilient Joint Force. Increases the topline authorization level by $45 billion to address the effects of inflation and accelerate implementation of the National Defense Strategy. This includes authorizing additional security assistance to Ukraine; accelerating the production of certain munitions; providing additional resources for service and combatant command requirements; and authorizing funding for additional military construction projects and facilities maintenance.” (“Fiscal Year 2023 National Defense Authorization Act,” U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee, 10/11/2022)

“Directs the establishment of a cross-functional team to integrate DoD efforts to address national security challenges posed by China.” (“Fiscal Year 2023 National Defense Authorization Act,” U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee, 10/11/2022)

“States that it shall be the policy of the United States to maintain the ability of the United States Armed Forces to deny a fait accompli against Taiwan in order to deter the People’s Republic of China from using military force to unilaterally change the status quo with Taiwan.” (“Fiscal Year 2023 National Defense Authorization Act,” U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee, 10/11/2022)

“Prohibits DoD from participating in film projects if the content of those projects has been censored by the government of China or the Chinese Communist Party.” (“Fiscal Year 2023 National Defense Authorization Act,” U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee, 10/11/2022)

Together, The FY 2023 NDAA And Defense Appropriations Strengthen U.S. Positions In The Indo-Pacific Region Against Chinese Aggression By Providing New Resources To Our Foreign Partners

“Extends the Pacific Deterrence Initiative (PDI) through fiscal year 2023, identifies approximately $11.5 billion of investments in support of PDI objectives, and authorizes approximately an additional $1 billion to address unfunded requirements identified by the Commander of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command (INDOPACOM).” (“Summary of the Fiscal Year 2023 National Defense Authorization Act,” U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee, 12/06/2022)

“Authorizes the Taiwan Enhanced Resilience Act of 2022, including various provisions designed to increase security cooperation with Taiwan consistent with the Taiwan Relations Act.” (“Summary of the Fiscal Year 2023 National Defense Authorization Act,” U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee, 12/06/2022)

“Modifies the Indo-Pacific Maritime Security Initiative (MSI) by removing the limitation on funding under the authority and authorizing the use of funds under the authority to facilitate participation of U.S. Coast Guard personnel and capabilities in the execution of training, exercises, and other activities with foreign partners under MSI.” (“Summary of the Fiscal Year 2023 National Defense Authorization Act,” U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee, 12/06/2022)

“Requires engagement with the Ministry of Defense of India to expand cooperation on emerging technology, readiness, and logistics.” (“Summary of the Fiscal Year 2023 National Defense Authorization Act,” U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee, 12/06/2022)

“Requires the establishment of a joint force headquarters within the INDOPACOM area of responsibility.” (“Summary of the Fiscal Year 2023 National Defense Authorization Act,” U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee, 12/06/2022)



Related Issues: NDAA, America's Military, Russia, National Security, China, Appropriations