President Joe Biden’s proposed defense budget has prompted pushback from a number of Republican leaders on Capitol Hill.
According to Breitbart, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has joined Sens. Jim Inhofe (R-OK), Marco Rubio (R-FL), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), and Richard Shelby (R-AL) in issuing a joint statement condemning the White House proposal.
“Talk is cheap, but defending our country is not,” the senators wrote Friday.
“They should set the table”
The Republicans’ statement began with a statement of concern about China, referencing Biden’s prior warning that the communist regime “is going to eat our lunch” if the U.S. is not prepared.
“Today’s budget proposal signals to China that they should set the table,” the GOP senators said.
They also expressed particular outrage over the belief that “Biden has prioritized spending trillions on liberal wish list priorities here at home” while “funding for America’s military is neglected.”
Their letter cited a troubling trend over the past decade in which China has increased its defense spending by $200 billion as the U.S. has decreased its budget by $400 billion. The current level of spending “doesn’t even keep up with inflation,” the senators argued.
“China’s military investments match its desire to out-compete America and hold our military forces at risk,” they said in their letter.
“On the right track”
Despite the Democratic Party’s “tough talk on China,” the Republican senators wrote that the proposed defense budget will effectively undermine that rhetoric.
“President Biden’s own Pentagon leadership team 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,” their letter reportedly read. “Anything less than real growth will force the Department to choose between taking care of service members and ensuring they have the tools and training to meet new and growing threats. ”
According to the senators, the Department of Defense not only needs to increase resources aimed at combatting China, but it also needs funding to take on “Russia, Iran, North Korea, and radical Islamic terrorists.”
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki, on the other hand, stressed the need to tackle health-related and economic issues in the defense budget, asserting:
We’re also inheriting a legacy of chronic underinvestment, in our view, in priorities that are vital to our long-term success and our ability to confront the challenges before us, so the president is focused on reversing this trend and reinvesting in the foundations of our strength.