In a joint statement, several Republican Senators blasted President Joe Biden’s defense budget, calling it “disappointing,” and saying, “talk is cheap, but defending our country is not.”
In the joint statement by Senator Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK), Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), and Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL), they blast Biden for having prioritized trillions in spending on a “liberal wish list” instead of providing funding for America’s military, showcasing the president’s neglect.
The group of Senators reiterate what Biden recently said: “If we don’t get moving, [China] is going to eat our lunch.” The group thinks that, with the proposal Biden released, he’s showing China “should set the table.”
The Senators write that “China aspires to overtake America as the world’s dominant superpower.”
They point out China has been working towards this for the past decade: “China’s defense spending has increased by $200 billion, while America’s has decreased by $400 billion. China’s military investments match its desire to out-compete America and hold our military forces at risk.”
The group feels the Biden budget is bad enough that the proposed spending bill does not show it will help keep up with the inflation rate. The proposed spending currently shows”the non-defense discretionary budget increases by almost 20 percent in this budget on top of the trillions of dollars in new non-national security programs the administration is intent on spending this year.”
— Senator McConnell Press (@McConnellPress) April 9, 2021
In addition, support for America’s military isn’t shown by the president. They write if the president wanted to support the military, Biden would match what he is spending at home. If the President did that, “China would get nowhere close to overtaking us,” they write.
The group concluded that “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.”
This in turn shows “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.”
The Republicans emphasize Biden’s leadership in the Pentagon “acknowledges that the defense strategy they inherited is largely on the right track, and that resourcing the strategy requires significant real growth in the defense budget.”
If the military receives “anything less than real growth,” it will put the Department in a rough spot, having to “choose between taking care of service members and ensuring they have the tools and training to meet new and growing threats.”
The group of Republicans said Americans had tasked the “Armed Forces not only to counter threats from the PRC, but also from Russia, Iran, North Korea, and radical Islamic terrorists. We need to give them the resources they need.”
Right now, the U.S. is in a “long-term strategic competition with the Chinese Communist Party,” which has required “coherent strategies, creative thinking, and sustained investments in all our national security tools: military, diplomatic, economic, technological, informational, intelligence, and more,” they said.
The Senate Republicans are ready to work on bipartisan legislation to address the ongoing threat from China. They said the “process can’t work if the administration insists on budget cuts for the most important tool in our toolbox.”
The progress the military has made to enhance its power, they said, “represents the best deterrent against near-term threats posed by Xi’s People’s Liberation Army.” Tough talk is not enough to attract the attention of Beijing, they said, but rather “American defense spending and combat-credible American forces in theater” will.
The Republicans said in the press release, “talk is cheap, but defending our country is not.”
It is the “constitutional responsibility to provide for the common defense,” they said, emphasizing “we can’t afford to fail.”
“To keep America strong, we must balance domestic and defense spending priorities,” which has to include Biden keeping his promise to work in a bipartisan manner. “Both parties should be able to agree that we must maintain America’s edge over China,” which is why the group of Republican Senators urged Biden to go at this with bipartisanship.
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