Just as the United States completed its troop withdrawal from Afghanistan on Monday after two decades of war and occupation, House Republicans announced plans to push for a $25 billion increase in annual military spending—a proposal that progressive lawmakers and advocacy groups swiftly rejected.
Led by Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Ala.), the top Republican on the House Armed Services Committee, the GOP intends to pursue a National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) amendment that would add $25 billion to President Joe Biden’s $753 billion topline military spending request for Fiscal Year 2022.
The House Armed Services panel—which is awash in donations from weapons makers and other major industry players—is expected to begin marking up Biden’s request on Wednesday.
“Rogers’ amendment would dole out $15 billion to address a spate of military unfunded priorities that weren’t included in the Pentagon’s budget request,” Politico reported Monday. “It would add $9.8 billion to weapons procurement accounts, including money for four more Navy ships, more planes and helicopters for the Navy, Marine Corps, and National Guard, and upgraded Army combat vehicles.”
Approval of the GOP’s amendment would bring the House version of the NDAA—a sprawling annual defense policy bill that typically passes with overwhelming bipartisan support—into line with the Senate’s. Last month, as Common Dreams reported, the Senate Armed Services Committee agreed to pile $25 billion onto Biden’s proposal, which already calls for an increase over Trump-era Pentagon spending levels.