Tags: US | defense | budget

Inhofe, Cruz: Obama Budget Slashes Vital Defense Programs

By    |   Thursday, 06 Mar 2014 06:17 PM

Republican senators blasted the Obama Administration at a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing  Wednesday for cutting spending on weapons and readiness while wasting money on climate-change-related initiatives. 

Since President Obama took office in 2009, controversial theories that government action is critical to tackling the threats posed by  man-made climate change have become top priorities for the Pentagon. 

In its new Quadrennial Defense Review – a blueprint for Defense Department priorities issued every four years – the DoD refers to the effects of climate change as “threat multipliers” that will force the military to rethink how it engages in missions, training and the provision of humanitarian assistance around the world.

The latest QDR, released on Tuesday, warns that infrastructure damage caused by the effects of climate change could affect military operations, The Washington Examiner reported.

But at Wednesday’s Armed Services Committee hearing on the Pentagon budget, Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas and  Oklahoma Sen. James Inhofe grilled Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel about administration plans to cut Air Force procurement and the National Guard while continuing expenditures on initiatives like solar farms.

Cruz told Hagel that he was “troubled” by the President’s proposal to slash six brigade combat teams by 2019 despite the fact that “in my view, the world has gotten only more dangerous – not less dangerous.”

The Texas Republican asked Hagel why it made more sense to cut spending for U.S. infantry forces while spending money on an Air Force program to build wind turbines in Alaska and a Navy program to obtain fuel from algae, which costs four times as much as regular fuel.

Cruz said the administration’s proposed  budget cuts would weaken the military’s ability to defend U.S. interests around the world and said the Pentagon  should be reducing funds for alternative-energy programs marred by cost overruns and delays.

Hagel responded by stating that the administration had “hard choices” to make and worked to ensure that cuts “made sense.” He promised to provide Cruz with more information on the Pentagon’s alternative-fuel  efforts.

Inhofe, ranking member on the Armed Services panel, pointed to comments by Hagel that “American dominance on the seas, in the skies,  in space, can no longer be taken for granted.” And he noted that Gen. Martin Dempsey, Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman and another  witness at the hearing, had suggested that the U.S. could be “on a path or a course so degraded and unready that it would be immoral to use force.” 

Inhofe said that figures compiled by the Congressional Research Service show that the Obama Administration has spent $120 billion since 2009 on climate change, global warming and other environmental initiatives.

He said that that sum  would be enough to purchase 1,400 F-35 warplanes – a formidable asset in projecting power in hot spots around the globe.

Instead, the new Pentagon budget request slashes the program nearly in half.

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Republican senators blasted the Obama Administration at a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing Wednesday for cutting spending on weapons and readiness while wasting money on climate-change-related initiatives.
US,defense,budget
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2014-17-06
Thursday, 06 Mar 2014 06:17 PM
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