10-year spending projections for Biden’s reconciliation bill v. Pentagon budget

Speaking Security Newsletter | Advisory Note for Organizers and Candidates, n°123 | 19 October 2021

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The Senate Appropriations Committee released the remaining 9 (of 12) appropriations bills for fiscal year 2022 yesterday. The funding amounts for each one adhere to the discretionary spending levels established by the 2022 budget resolution.


The budget resolution establishes how much money Congress has to work with when it’s putting together its appropriations bills. It also establishes how much Congress projects will be spent across various categories for the next 10 years based on what members (and senators) deem ‘appropriate.’ These numbers are non-binding but provide an important indication for where Congress is at, mentally.

I looked at the 10-year projections Senate appropriators thought would be appropriate for the ‘national defense’ category. Through what I hope will be the last chart I make of this kind, I want to show that not only is the Pentagon budget over twice as expensive per year as the reconciliation bill, but that the Senate’s OK with that gap widening even more over the next decade, based on its projected military budgets. All while the reconciliation bill is being obstructed and facing cuts in the Senate.

This fits in with what I wrote for Jacobin last week; i.e., there are no true fiscal conservatives/deficit hawks in Congress because all members/senators are OK with federal spending. It’s just that some (read: most) make exceptions to their austerity politics an exclusive privilege of the military budget.

Thanks for your time,

Stephen (@stephensemler; stephen@securityreform.org)

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