By Connor O’Brien, Lee Hudson
Both the House and Senate Armed Services committees have finalized their authorization bills for fiscal 2023. While it wasn’t easy, now comes the even harder part: Coming up with a compromise.
But before that happens, both bills need to be approved in their respective chambers.
Once each chamber passes a version of the bill, the committees will enter conference and craft compromise defense policy legislation.
Here are the biggest hot-button issues that will be up for debate.
The $8 billion question: Both panels agreed to scrap President Joe Biden’s $802 billion national defense proposal and voted to increase the price tags of their bills substantially, though by different amounts.
House Armed Services on Wednesday adopted in a 42-17 vote a $37 billion increase to the topline, boosting the total to approximately $839 billion. The panel did so without the backing of Armed Services Chair Adam Smith (D-Wash.), who opposed the increase along with most committee Democrats.
The topline boost, offered by Democrats Jared Golden of Maine and Elaine Luria of Virginia, included billions to boost shipbuilding and aircraft procurement as well as blunt some of the impacts of inflation, such as on troops’ cost of living, fuel and military construction.
Senators, meanwhile, approved an even bigger increase by an even wider margin. Senate Armed Services adopted a $45 billion boost to Biden’s budget, with just one Democrat on the panel opposed.