FY 2025 Defense Budget

Updated: March 22, 2024
FY 2025 Defense Budget
In this Article

    The Biden-Harris Administration has released the President’s Budget for fiscal year 2025. A significant part of the new budget includes US Department of Defense Budget funding to protect America’s global interests.

    This budget also proposes critical funding to help the Veterans Administration continue providing more care and benefits to veterans than ever before.

    An Overview of How Defense Budget Funding Works

    The Defense Budget funds agencies and programs under the jurisdiction of the Department of Defense (DOD) and Intelligence Community, including the Military Services, Central Intelligence Agency, and National Security Agency.

    Funding provides training, equipment, and resources for America’s forces to successfully carry out missions worldwide. Each year, Congress passes a National Defense Authorization Act to officially fund U.S. defense efforts.

    The general provisions of this budget are guided by the National Defense Strategy and National Security Strategy and focus broadly on readiness, modernization, and prioritizing personnel welfare. The budget includes ongoing investments in readiness, procurement, and research and development areas, ensuring that advancements can be implemented in the face of several global strategic challenges.

    Each year, the budget is presented to the Congressional Defense Committee, and if approved, it goes to both branches of Congress for reviews, amendments, and approval.

    About a sixth of the federal budget traditionally goes toward national defense. For 2024, the defense budget comprises around half of all discretionary spending and 13% of total federal spending. 

    What Is the Amount of the FY 2025 Defense Budget?

    The proposed FY 2025 US Defense Budget is $849.8 billion. As part of a pledge to provide ongoing support for Veterans under President Biden’s Unity Agenda, the VA will continue funding and implementing the PACT Act, permanently housing 40,000 veterans for the second year in a row, expanding suicide prevention services for at-risk veterans, and more.

    The FY 2025 request for the VA is $369.3 billion, representing a $33 billion increase above the FY 2024 Budget estimate level. This includes a discretionary request of $134.0 billion and a mandatory funding request of $235.3 billion.

    One of the notable requests is investing $4 billion to process more benefits claims at an even faster rate than last year, which produced a historic number of processed claims.

    When Does the 2025 Defense Budget Go Into Effect and What is the Legislative Outlook?

    Although the new FY budget request has been announced, several ongoing issues remain that leave specific Defense budgeting issues unresolved. While the FY 2025 request is being presented to Congress for consideration, that body continues to debate an FY 2024 budget request and the supplemental budget to fund Ukraine, Israel, Taiwan, and more. 

    The FY 2024 budget should have gone into effect on Oct. 1, 2023, but DOD has been funded under a continuing resolution since that date. A continuing resolution maintains funding for departments at the level of the previous appropriations act, which means the DOD is operating under the FY 2023 funding level.

    Without these challenges, a new FY 2025 budget should go into effect on Oct. 1, 2024. However, whether or not that happens remains to be seen.

    The FY 2025 request is also affected by the Fiscal Responsibility Act of 2023. That law limits discretionary spending for defense and nondefense programs in exchange for lifting the debt ceiling.

    One area of concern is a proposed FY 2025 pay raise for civilians set at 2%, which does not match a service member pay increase of 4.5%. 

    The Fiscal Responsibility Act is also why the defense request does not keep up with inflation. Although the $850 billion request is a 1% increase in spending, inflation rose about 3% over the past year.

     FY 2025 Defense Budget Key Summary Points

    The FY 2025 Defense Budget highlights include basic housing allowance increases and facility investments in safe, quality family housing to enhance deterrence and improve critical operational infrastructure. Added funding is also proposed for better health care, healthy food, and child care more accessible, including increasing pay for childcare providers.

    There are also provisions for building a safer workplace by more effectively combatting sexual assault, suicide prevention, and eliminating other barriers to care.

    The FY 2025 request also makes a historic investment in the submarine industrial base to increase production and reduce backlogs. This is part of a broader goal of the nation’s defense that includes having the best equipment and being trained and ready to use that equipment to deter conflict and ensure defense readiness.

    More specifically, the FY 2025 budget request asks for $167 billion for procurement, $143 billion for research, development, testing, and evaluation, and $339 billion for operations and maintenance. This includes funding investments in America’s national nuclear enterprise and missile defense and space capabilities and strengthening cyberspace and long-range fire capabilities. 

    A Closer Look at the Veterans Funding Portion of the 2025 Defense Budget

    The FY 2025 Budget makes significant investments to support veterans, their families, caregivers, and survivors. Specifically, some of those critical investments include:

    • Expand health care and benefits for veterans as part of the Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics (PACT) Act of 2022.  Originally signed into law in 2022, it adds significant benefits for servicemembers exposed to toxins and other hazards while serving our country. As part of the PACT Act, Congress authorized the Toxic Exposures Fund (TEF) to invest in the delivery of health care associated with exposure to environmental hazards and any expenses related to health care and benefits associated with exposure to environmental hazards in the military. The Budget continues this commitment with $24.5 billion for the TEF in FY 2025.
    • Support enhanced delivery of health care for Veterans across America. This adds to last year’s commitment to expand VA access to health care for millions of veterans and deliver record numbers of appointments. This Budget invests $112.6 billion in discretionary medical care funding in fiscal year 2025. It fully funds inpatient, outpatient, mental health, and long-term care services and supports programs that enhance VA healthcare quality and delivery, including continued efforts to address the opioid and drug overdose epidemic. 
    • Prioritize mental health care and suicide prevention for veterans. This budget invests $135 million in VA research programs – along with $17 billion within the VA Medical Care program and another $13 million in VA research programs to increase access to quality mental health care and lower the cost of mental health services for Veterans. The budget provides $583 million to advance veteran suicide prevention initiatives.
    • Support health care for women veterans. The budget invests $13.7 billion in women veterans’ healthcare, including $1.1 billion in women’s gender-specific care, comprehensive specialty medical and surgical services for women veterans, improving maternal health outcomes, and more.
    • Increased efforts to end veteran homelessness. The budget invests $3.2 billion to help the VA’s efforts to end current veteran homelessness and prevent veterans from becoming homeless in the future. It also includes funding for the Department of Housing and Urban Development to expand housing vouchers to more needy veterans.
    • Invest in claims processing and benefits delivery for veterans. The budget provides $4 billion to the Veterans Benefits Administration to support the continued timely processing of claims and delivery of benefits to Veterans at a time when they are applying for benefits at record rates.

    For More on FY 2025 Budget and Defense Spending 

    For more information on the President’s FY 2025 Budget, visit the White House’s budget website. For more information on the VA budget, please visit the VA’s budget website.

    Written by Veteran.com Team