President Biden’s budget proposal on Friday kicked off what’s likely to be a long, drawn-out fight in Congress in October over how to fund the federal government.

Biden was trying to find a compromise solution with the $1.52 trillion size of the proposed budget and its allocation. Yet, the result of his compromise is that he probably angered more people in Congress than he pleased.

The defense budget will increase to $753 billion with $715 billion going to the Department of Defense and the remaining going to the Energy Department’s National Nuclear Security Administration and a few other agencies doing military work.

The more “progressive” members of the Democratic Party will no doubt be incensed at the defense budget’s modest increase of $12.3 billion. The amount represents a 1.7 percent increase, which typically keeps pace with inflation. 

Most of the more liberal Democrats wanted a 10 percent reduction in the defense budget. Rep. Adam Smith, chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, has said that annual defense spending could be cut, if done smartly, by as much as $100 billion. Many Republicans were looking for a three percent increase in the Defense Department’s budget while more moderate Democrats and many budget analysts wanted to keep defense spending flat. 

Biden’s budget proposal cites “the need to counter the threat from China” as the Pentagon’s “top challenge.” However, top Republicans, some of whom are on defense and budget committees in the Senate, grandstanding before the details are even out, released a joint statement characterizing the 1.7 increase as a virtual cut and accusing Biden of already ceding ground to China and Russia.

“President Biden’s budget proposal cuts defense spending, sending a terrible signal not only to our adversaries in Beijing and Moscow but also to our allies and partners,” their statement said.

“Cutting America’s defense budget completely undermines Washington Democrats’ tough talk on China and calls into question the administration’s willingness to confront the Chinese Communist Party,” it added.