Piers at 32nd Street Naval Station, the Naval Base San Diego.
Ships docked at Naval Base San Diego. Image via Wikimedia Commons

The House Armed Services Committee on Wednesday backed a proposal to increase spending for the Department of Defense by $37 billion on top of the record $773 billion proposed by President Joe Biden.

The vote paved the way for a Pentagon budget of at least $810 billion next year after the Senate Armed Services Committee already backed a $45 billion increase in its version of the bill.

The two chambers will decide the ultimate level when they meet in conference on the bill at an undecided date.

The vote in favor of the $37 billion amendment to the annual National Defense Authorization Act was 42-17, as more than a dozen Democrats joined Republicans in favor of higher spending.

The amendment includes $3.6 billion to build five more Navy ships, includes $2.5 billion to help pay higher fuel costs, $550 million for Ukraine, eight more Boeing-made F-18 Super Hornet fighter jets, five more Lockheed Martin-built C-130 Hercules planes, and about $1 billion for four more Patriot missile units.

The new ships added in the amendment are a guided-missile destroyer, a frigate, an additional T-AO oiler built in San Diego, and two expeditionary medical ships. The amendment also authorizes funding to save five of the monohull variant littoral combat ships based on the East Coast.

Biden had already requested a record peacetime Pentagon budget of $773 billion. In addition, another $40 billion is set aside for other national security-related programs at the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Department of Energy and other agencies.

Biden’s budget requested a 4.6% pay raise for troops and the largest research and development budget in history, as Russian aggression in Ukraine spurs demands for more military spending.

Last year, the NDAA authorized $778 billion in defense spending, which was $25 billion more than requested by Biden.

Reuters contributed to this article.

Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.