Congress passed a $1.7 trillion omnibus bill, ensuring that our government is funded for Fiscal Year 2023. You probably haven’t seen the amount given to the most stellar agency: Space Force. Thankfully, Congress listened to the space advocates and appropriated the Space Force the money we’ve all been begging for – $26.29 billion. Americans can now sleep soundly knowing the Space Force has an overflowing pocketbook to protect us from aliens and whatnot.
If you’re not familiar, the Space Force is an indispensable branch of our military. Created in December 2019 by the Trump administration, the Space Force is responsible for “organizing, training, and equipping Guardians to conduct global space operations.” Sure, the UN Outer Space Treaty prohibits military bases and weapons tests in space … but it doesn’t say anything about space guardians. Congress allocated $26.29 billion for these brave space guardians, $1.7 billion dollars more than requested, with $16 billion specifically earmarked for research and development. We can’t wait to see which quintessential American company – Raytheon, Lockheed Martin, SpaceX – win that sweet contract money. It’ll surely be money well spent.
The Space Force budget also includes $1.1 billion for military personnel, which is more than the combined budgets of the National Labor Relations Board and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Its $4.4 billion for procurement is $1.5 billion more than the combined budgets for financial regulation via the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, and the National Credit Union Administration. As we pointed out in last week’s newsletter, a government’s budget highlights its priorities. Congress’ priorities are clear – more rockets and space guardians, fewer lawyers to prosecute financial crimes or guarantee that workers here on Earth have safe workplaces.
Now, you may be wondering what other agencies were underfunded to make room for the vital Space Force budget. Well, you need not look further than the Environmental Protection Agency, which conveniently received $1.7 billion less than requested. After all, what’s the point of wasting money to protect Earth’s environment when we can just switch planets? Yes, we may have to inhale polluted air and drink lead poisoned water for a little while longer, but afterwards we can probably go to Mars.
Look, crafting a federal budget of this size isn’t easy. It requires Congress to make difficult decisions about which departments aren’t deserving of the funds they request, and which deserve a little something extra. One might have expected Democratic leadership to put things like environmental protection, housing, and labor rights at the forefront of their negotiation demands. Instead, they gave billions of dollars to everyone’s favorite and most respected military branch – the Space Force.
Photo: “File:Flag of the United States Space Force.svg” by Sshu94 is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0.