President-elect Joe Biden’s first federal budget proposal won’t be released until the spring, but these initial decisions on military spending could set the tone on which the Department of Defense will focus for years to come.
Typically, the White House taps its annual budget proposal in early February, which outlines final strength plans, service equipment procurement plans, and program funding for the entire military.
However, in transition years for the President, this work is often delayed until the end of March or April to give the new administration time to set its financial goals and priorities.
This move from President Donald Trump’s vision for the federal budget to Biden could be particularly grave given their competing views on Pentagon funding.
During the campaign, Biden promised, “Ours [military] Superiority, ”but added,“ we need to do this affordable. “He said his administration would highlight diplomacy and economic aid in relation to“ aging legacy capabilities ”but also promised major investments in unmanned military vehicles and artificial intelligence systems.
Biden elected president
The Democratic candidate and former vice president becomes the country’s next commander in chief.
One area of the military budget that could see the biggest change is the number of employees.
During Trump’s four-year tenure, the final strength of the military grew by nearly 80,000 soldiers. That number is set to increase by a further 8,000 next year.
Trump repeatedly attacked Biden and former President Barack Obama for reducing the total number of staff too much so that the remaining troops had more missions and less recovery time.
However, both Biden and Trump pledged to reduce U.S. military operations overseas. Whether this will lead to a corresponding decrease in the number of troops in active service under Biden remains a central question of his first budget proposal.
Trump urged and also got repeated increases to the overall military budget during his tenure. The defense budget for fiscal 2020 exceeded $ 738 billion, up around 10 percent from the end of the Obama administration.
However, these increases came at a cost to other federal agencies such as the State Department. Biden has pledged to better balance funding across the government, which could mean smaller increases or cuts in defense spending.
Biden’s inauguration is scheduled for January 20th.