US 2022 budget plan delayed

The Biden administration was set to release its budget plan for the 2022 fiscal year today, but the decision has

US AP

Photo: AP

The Biden administration was set to release its budget plan for the 2022 fiscal year today, but the decision has been delayed until May 3.

New administrations often delay budget proposals into April or May. With Office of Management and Budget nominee Neera Tanden facing opposition in the Senate, President Joe Biden has followed this trend.

One area of speculation regarding the budget plan is defence spending, and particularly whether the progressive wing of the Democratic Party will compel the president to substantially reduce military expenditure. However, progressive demands for defence cuts are unlikely to influence Biden amidst heightened US-China naval tensions. The real question remains whether the White House will maintain the Navy’s ambitious 30-year shipbuilding plan released last December, which would equip 82 new surface and submarine vessels by 2026 at a cost of $147 billion.

Expect Biden to eventually commit to a $700 billion defence budget—mirroring the defence spending of previous years. However, Washington is unlikely to approve the Navy’s plan, which even some admirals have been reluctant to support. Instead, Biden is more likely to scale back to the original 2020 proposal to build seven ships this year, a moderate increase to keep pace with the Chinese naval build-up in the Pacific.

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