Military Spending Emerges as Big Dispute in Debt-Limit Talks

Funding for the military has emerged as a key sticking point in reaching an agreement to raise the nation’s borrowing limit and prevent a catastrophic default, with Republicans pushing to spare the Defense Department from spending caps and make deeper cuts to domestic programs like education.

President Biden has balked at that demand, pointing to a long series of past budget agreements that either cut or increased military spending in tandem with discretionary programs outside of defense.

How the sides resolve that issue will be critical for the final outcome of any debt deal. It remains possible that in order to reach a deal that prevents a default, Democrats will accept an agreement that allows military spending to grow even as nondefense spending falls or stays flat.

Mr. Biden’s aides and congressional Republicans deputized by Speaker Kevin McCarthy are trying to negotiate an agreement to lift the borrowing limit before the government runs out of money to pay its bills on…

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This article was written by Jim Tankersley and originally published on