Pentagon requests $26 billion budget increase despite 5 failed audits
President Biden's $6.9 trillion budget request for fiscal year 2024 includes $842 billion for the Department of Defense, an increase of almost 9% over last year's DOD request.
The Pentagon's annual budget is climbing closer to $1 trillion despite its five failed audits.
President Biden's $6.9 trillion budget request for fiscal year 2024 includes $842 billion for the Pentagon plus $44 billion for defense-related programs at other agencies and departments, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Department of Energy.
The 2024 budget request "is $26 billion, or 3.2 percent more than what Congress enacted last year," Defense Department Comptroller Michael McCord told reporters on Monday. "It's closer to nine percent more than what we requested last year, and it's basically $100 billion higher than what we had just two years ago."
McCord signaled that $1 trillion Pentagon budgets are on the horizon.
That budgetary milestone is "going to be a psychological big watershed moment for many of us," but, he said, "it is inevitable, and it just reflects the growth of the economy, among other things."
To date, the Department of Defense has never passed a full audit. In November 2022, it was reported that DOD had failed another audit. In the most recent failed audit, the Pentagon was only able to account for 39% of its assets, according to several reports.
"I would not say that we flunked," McCord said in November. "The process is important for us to do, and it is making us get better. It is not making us get better as fast as we want."
Despite the failed audits, Congress continues to raise defense spending. For fiscal year 2023, Congress approved nearly $45 billion more than Biden had requested for defense spending.