President Joe Biden is entering the G-7 summit talks and his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin from a "position of weakness" because his administration doesn't prioritize national security, Sen. John Thune said Thursday on Newsmax.
"You can see that by what they do with their budget," the South Dakota Republican told Newsmax's "John Bachman Now." "If you want to see what's happening, where people's priorities are, follow the money in the budget that he submitted to Congress."
Biden's proposed budget had a 1% increase for defense, said Thune, and a 16% increase for non-defense spending.
"That's a message that gets sent loudly and clearly to the world," the senator said. "I think the United States, if we want to project strength in the world, the world has to understand that we're going to follow through on what we say."
Meanwhile, Biden was close to an infrastructure deal but backed off after opposition from progressives, Bachman said, and Thune agreed that it will be very hard for the president to advance legislation when he doesn't have a mandate in his own party.
"Most of what they're talking about right now lacks even sufficient support among Democrats to get 51 votes, let alone 60 on the floor of the Senate," said Thune. "Republicans have said a couple of things; one is we're not going to go for tax increases and two we were taught we have to talk about real infrastructure, core infrastructure, heart infrastructure."
But an infrastructure bill that's "done smartly" could gain bipartisan support, but not when it includes wishlist items that aren't really traditional projects, said Thune.
"I think there's a bipartisan deal there to be had, but it can't be had under the conditions the Democrats want and that is massive tax increases that will wreck the economy and kill jobs, and spending on things that are totally unrelated to infrastructure," he added. "That's where we start, and that's why I think it's going to be very tough to get a deal. Maybe we need a bill to define what infrastructure actually is. "
Thune also spoke out against Facebook and its censorship of people who post what it deems to be fake information about the COVID pandemic.
"I think the whole issue with China and the labs and the transparency and accountability and disclosure issues there are critical and we've got to get to the bottom of that," said Thune, adding that he has a bill proposed concerning the site and transparency.
Thune also discussed the addition of B-21 Raider bombers to Ellsworth Air Force Base, noting that the plans mark a "historic, once-in-a-generation story for the base and the state.
"The B-21 Raider the next generation bomber has capabilities that keep us competitive with our adversaries," said Thune. "The only three nations in the world that have strategic bombers are China, Russia, and the United States, so the B-21 is absolutely essential to our ability to defend America and American interest to project power...if the U.S. is going to be a part of the nuclear triad, we're going to be the main operating base, and so absolutely we're delighted about that, but most importantly, about the important role that this aircraft will play in our national security priorities in the future.
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