House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy and Reps. Turner and Wenstrup Slam Biden’s Defense Budget, Raise Concerns On Ability to Combat Threats From China
Joined by House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy (CA-23) and Congressman Brad Wenstrup (OH-02), I recently slammed President Biden’s proposed defense budget as inadequate to combat against growing threats from China and our adversaries.
While I recognized the budget’s increased funding for research that could support the work at Wright-Patt, I emphasized that Biden’s top-line budget does not keep up with inflation and results in cuts, which creates concern for future development and capabilities of our Armed Services.
We have taken this tour of Wright-Patterson Air force Base in the context of President Biden’s defense budget, which includes no increase for defense spending. This is a grave concern, not only to our readiness, but for our modernization programs that will help us reach the threats that we see in the future.
In order to invest in the Department of Defense, you have to look to readiness. This means looking at who is currently deployed and ensuring those operations have what they need. Then you have to look to the future, how are we modernizing what we have. In doing that, we have to assess what our adversaries are doing. That is why Wright Patterson Air Force Base is critical. In addition to developing these systems of the future, they also look to where are adversaries will be.
House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy, who has previously visited Wright-Patterson Air Force Base with me, stressed the importance of the base’s work to support national security before discussing the urgent need to address growing threats from China:
“If you have ever been to Wright-Patt you will always come back. The importance, the knowledge, the capabilities of your adversaries but also the capabilities that we have is critical right here at Wright Patterson,” said Leader McCarthy.
“President Biden is not increasing while our adversaries are getting stronger. If you take the inflation, he is actually decreasing our capability. We have always learned to do more with less, but to have these threats come before us, and the growth we see in China, and the threats from cyber and getting into the US, I don’t think it’s the time you want to decrease our capabilities, I think it’s a time you want to invest greater, especially in research and development,” said Leader McCarthy.
Congressman Brad Wenstrup, a U.S. Army Reserve officer who served in Iraq as a combat surgeon, also criticized President Biden’s budget:
“We are concerned about the budget for our defense. The last thing we want to do is fall behind. The key of peace is to be ahead and so the role of the people that work here and all the things they do here are so vital and important to our nation,” said Rep. Wenstrup.
For months, military officials and leaders in Congress, including me, called for a 3-5% increase in defense spending adjusted for inflation. Yet, President Biden’s recently released defense budget does not keep up with inflation. It constitutes a cut of approximately $4 billion in defense spending, while requesting a $106 billion (16 percent) increase in non-defense spending. This comes as China has rapidly increased their defense spending.
I serve as a senior member of both the House Armed Services Committee (HASC) and the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI). On HASC, I am the Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Strategic Forces, where I have jurisdiction over the nation's nuclear arsenal, the Department of Defense's intelligence programs, and missile defense systems. I have led the charge to fund the modernization of the U.S. nuclear triad. I have previously criticized President Biden’s proposal and supported calls to increase funding for the Pacific Deterrence Initiative.