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Senate Lawmakers to Consider Increase to White House’s Defense Budget by $25B

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Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC) members started closed-door work on the annual defense authorization bill on Wednesday and will consider adding another $25 billion to the White House’s proposed defense budget of $716 billion for fiscal year 2022 to fund the services’ unfunded priorities, Military Times reported.

Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Okla., ranking member of SASC, said he is confident the plan to increase the current administration’s defense budget could get bipartisan support.

Unfunded priorities are the services’ proposed program additions and equipment purchases that were not included in the White House’s budget proposal.

The U.S. Army’s unfunded priorities include $1.9 billion for aviation platforms, combat, tracked, and wheeled vehicles and $1.1 billion for strategic power projection capabilities and tactical training.

The U.S. Air Force’s wish list includes $1.4 billion for 12 F-15EXs and $825 million for weapon sustainment. The U.S. Navy’s unfunded priorities include $1.7 billion for a second DDG ship and $280 million for naval pilots’ additional flight hours.

U.S. Marine Corps officials requested $150 million in funds for additional Tactical Tomahawk missiles and Naval Strike Missiles.