KEY POINTS

  • The Pentagon has a $738 billion budget for the 2020 fiscal year, $20 billion more than in 2019
  • Progressive Democrats have criticized the military budget for being bloated, while Republicans tend to support the current level of defense spending
  • The Trump administration has requested $740.5 billion in defense spending for the 2021 fiscal year

President Trump signed the National Defense Authorization Act in December, authorizing a $738 billion budget for the Pentagon in the 2020 fiscal year. The Pentagon will have a base budget of $658.4 billion, along with an additional $71.5 billion for U.S. military operations overseas.

The Pentagon will spend $40 billion of its 2020 budget to establish the Space Force while $12.2 billion will be spent on 90 F-35 Joint Strike Fighters and $3 billion on the U.S. Air Force’s long-range stealth B-21 bombers. Some $2.2 billion will be used to purchase 165 Abrams tanks. 

The Defense Department’s budget for the 2020 fiscal year is roughly $20 billion more than 2019. Trump had originally asked for a $750 billion budget for 2020 to better compete with global adversaries such as Russia and China. 

Only 48 members of the House voted against the measure, with some progressive Democrats criticizing the level of defense spending. 

"Let's speak in facts," Rep. Ro Khanna, D-Calif., said in December ahead of the vote. "This defense budget is $120 billion more than what Obama left us with. That could fund free public college for every American. It could fund access to high-speed, affordable internet for every American. But it's worse. The bipartisan amendment to stop the war in Yemen: stripped by the White House. The bipartisan amendment to stop the war in Iran: stripped by the White House."

Republicans, on the other hand, seem content. 

“The bill increases funding for operations and maintenance, and procurement for the next generation of equipment to ensure our men and women in uniform always have the tactical advantage,” Rep. Ken Calvert, R- Calif., said.

The Trump administration has requested $740.5 billion in defense spending for the 2021 fiscal year, but the proposal would have to pass Congress, with House Democrats saying Trump's current 2021 budget plans are "dead on arrival."