A Democratic member of the House Armed Services Committee has introduced an amendment to boost the topline of the panel’s version of the next defense policy bill by $37 billion. 

Rep. Jared Golden (D-Maine) filed the amendment a day before HASC is set to consider the fiscal year 2023 National Defense Authorization Act and said the topline boost will “garner bipartisan support” during Wednesday’s markup.

Low angled view of the U.S. Capitol East Facade Front in Washington, D.C.

“This amendment provides the additional resources required to confront these challenges and to address rising costs due to the inflation being felt across the armed forces. The amendment reflects responsible proposals from committee members on both sides of the aisle to ensure that the national security needs of our country are met and that our servicemembers have the support they need,” Golden said in a statement.

HASC officially rolled out its FY ‘23 NDAA mark on Monday with a topline of $802.4 billion, essentially matching the president’s requested budget figure but facing pushback from Republicans who have called for a larger spending increase to account for inflation impacts.

The Senate Armed Services Committee voted 23-3 last Thursday to advance its $847 billion version of the NDAA, after adopting an amendment to support a $45 billion topline boost (Defense Daily, June 16). 

Within the proposed $37 billion topline increase to HASC’s bill, Golden said his amendment supports $7.4 billion for dealing with inflation impacts, to include $3.5 billion for military construction inflation costs and $2.5 billion to offset the costs of fuel inflation.

Golden’s amendment would also support $3.5 billion to build five additional ships, including one DDG, one FFG, one T-AO oiler and two more Expeditionary Medical Ships. 

The provision also includes $318 million to restore five LCS, $660 million to procure eight additional F/A-18s, $884 million for four EC-37Bs and $1.3 billion to cover two E-2Ds, five C-130s and two V-22s for the Navy and Marine Corps.

For the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative, the amendment adds another $550 million to bring HASC’s total authorization in the bill to $1 billion for the program. 

For research and development efforts, Golden’s amendment authorizes $400 million for munitions technology development, $665 million for biomanufacturing and biotechnology, $325 million for test and evaluation facility and equipment needs, $200 million for quantum computing applications and $200 million for 5G and next-generation telecommunications technologies.

The topline boost would also cover $1 billion for four additional Patriot air and missile defense system units and $200 million for 20 additional THAAD interceptors. 

Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Ala.), HASC’s top Republican, has said he predicts Congress will ‘ignore’ the president’s budget and once again boost defense spending over the president’s requested topline, following the move to increase spending by nearly $25 billion for the FY ‘22 bill (Defense Daily, May 2).

Rep. Adam Smith (D-Wash.), the HASC chair, told reporters last week while he supports the president’s requested defense topline that he expects Congress will ultimately increase defense spending for FY ‘23 by a significant amount (Defense Daily, June 15).