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Congress passes defense bill nearly $45 billion over Biden's budget request as debt climbs to $32T

President Biden requested $813.3 billion for the defense budget and the bill Congress passed is $858 billion

December 16, 2022 12:13pm

Updated: December 16, 2022 1:04pm

The Democratic-led Congress passed a defense bill with bipartisan votes in the House and Senate nearly $45 billion over President Biden's defense budget request.

Biden had requested $813.3 billion for the defense budget and the National Defense Authorization Act that Congress passed costs $858 billion. 

The legislation includes pay raises for U.S. troops, aid to Ukraine and eliminates the COVID-19 vaccine mandate for the military. In addition to the defense bill, the Biden Administration is asking Congress for $38 billion more in Ukraine assistance as the Russian invasion continues. 

Biden is expected to sign the bill.

Last year, the Democratic-led Congress passed a $770 billion National Defense Authorization Act, which was about $29 billion more than Biden had requested. According to an analysis, the U.S. government wound up spending $777.7 billion on defense in FY2021.

The U.S. ran a budget deficit of $1.4 trillion in fiscal 2022. The national debt is climbing to $32 trillion. Inflation is at 7.1%, according to the Labor Department. 

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