Biden unveils annual budget with largest investments in country’s national security history

Washington, Mar 28 (PTI) US President Joe Biden on Monday unveiled a USD 5.8 trillion annual budget proposal that calls for the largest investments in the country’s national security history.

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Budgets are statements of values, and the budget I am releasing today sends a clear message that we value fiscal responsibility, safety and security at home and around the world, and the investments needed to continue our equitable growth and build a better America, Biden said he unveiled the second annual budget.

The administration, he said, is on track to reduce the federal deficit by more than USD 1.3 trillion this year, cutting in half the deficit from the last year of the previous administration and delivering the largest one-year reduction in the deficit in US history.

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That’s the direct result of my administration’s strategy to get the pandemic under control and grow the economy from the bottom up and the middle out, he said.

My budget will continue that progress, further reducing the deficit by continuing to support the economic growth that has increased revenues and ensuring that billionaires and large corporations pay their fair share, he added.

Biden said he is calling for one of the largest investments in US national security in history, with the funds needed to ensure that its military remains the best-prepared, best-trained, best equipped military in the world.

In addition, I’m calling for continued investment to forcefully respond to Putin’s aggression against Ukraine with US support for Ukraine’s economic, humanitarian, and security needs, he said.

According to the White House, the President’s budget includes a deficit neutral reserve fund to account for a future agreement, preserving the revenue from tax and prescription drug reforms the President proposed last year for this legislation for the investments needed to bring down costs for American families and expand our productive capacity.

The budget includes USD 6.9 billion for the European Deterrence Initiative, the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO), and countering Russian aggression to support Ukraine, the United States’ strong partnerships with NATO allies, and other European partner states by bolstering funding to enhance the capabilities and readiness of US Forces, NATO allies, and regional partners in the face of Russian aggression.

It proposes USD 773 billion for the Department of Defence.

To sustain and strengthen deterrence, the Budget prioritises China as the Department’s pacing challenge. DOD’s 2023 Pacific Deterrence Initiative highlights some of the key investments the Department is making that are focused on strengthening deterrence in the Indo-Pacific region. DOD is building the concepts, capabilities, and posture necessary to meet these challenges, working in concert with the interagency and our allies and partners to ensure our deterrence is integrated across domains, theatres, and the spectrum of conflict, it said.

To support American leadership in defending democracy, freedom, and security worldwide, the budget includes nearly USD 1.8 billion for the State Department and USAID to support a free and open, connected, secure, and resilient Indo-Pacific Region and the Indo-Pacific Strategy, and USD 400 million for the Countering Chinese Malign Influence Fund.

In addition, the budget provides nearly USD 1 billion in assistance to Ukraine for State Department, USAID, and Department of Defence to counter Russian malign influence and to meet emerging needs related to security, energy, cyber security issues, disinformation, macroeconomic stabilisation, and civil society resilience, it added.

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Press Trust of India

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