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Biden seeks slight increase in defense spending, citing growing threats

Diplomacy 04:12 April 10, 2021

WASHINGTON, April 9 (Yonhap) -- U.S. President Joe Biden on Friday sent his defense budget proposal for next year to Congress with a slight increase needed to counter threats from countries such as China and North Korea.

Biden's proposal seeks to set aside US$753 billion in discretionary spending for all national defense programs, which, if accepted by Congress, would mark a 1.7 percent increase from this year.

The proposed amount includes $715 billion earmarked for the Defense Department.

"The discretionary request addresses threats to the nation by prioritizing the need to counter the pacing threat from China as the Department's top challenge, deterring nation-state threats emanating from Russia, Iran, and North Korea, funding investments in long-range strike capabilities to bolster deterrence and improve survivability, and promoting climate resilience and energy efficiencies," the White House said of the proposal in a press release.

Discretionary spending accounts for only about a quarter of total federal spending, and the president is expected to submit a full budget proposal, which will include non-discretionary spending, later in the year, according to local experts.

bdk@yna.co.kr
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