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Senate Democrats Draft Appropriations Bill Seeking $850B in 2023 Defense Funds

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Democratic leaders of the Senate Appropriations Committee put forward a nearly $1.7 trillion government spending proposal for fiscal year 2023 that includes $850 billion in discretionary funds for national defense.

Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., unveiled the package as his mark version of 12 annual appropriations bills Thursday.

The plan allocates $118.7 billion for medical care programs at the Department of Veterans Affairs and another $21 billion for public health initiatives through emergency supplemental funding.

Proposed defense funds under the package reflect an 8.7 percent increase over current funding levels and are aligned with the House’s bipartisan National Defense Authorization Act for the next fiscal year.

A summary of the bill from the Senate Appropriations defense subcommittee would provide $792.1 billion to the Pentagon and related activities.

“This bill modernizes our armed forces to address the evolving threats of the 21st Century, ensuring the Defense Department is able to compete with China and other adversaries across the globe,” Leahy said.

“It includes additional funds to help address the consequences of inflation, which has impacted government programs at every level – both defense and non-defense.”