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House Democrats to Biden: Significantly Reduce Pentagon Budget

the capitol dome and a red light
(Win McNamee/Getty Images)

By    |   Tuesday, 16 March 2021 04:57 PM EDT

Fifty House Democrats say excessive Pentagon spending won’t make the U.S. safer and are urging President Joe Biden to slash the Department of Defense's budget.

“While we are heartened that your administration is not contemplating expanding the Pentagon’s already inflated budget, our new Democratic majorities in Congress along with your administration should go further,” the group of lawmakers wrote in a letter to Biden on Tuesday. “Rather than requesting a flat Pentagon budget, we urge you to seek a significantly reduced Pentagon topline.”

Democrats argued that “part of undoing the damage” of the previous administration is taking a hard look at spending priorities at the DoD.

“Hundreds of billions of dollars now directed to the military would have greater return if invested in diplomacy, humanitarian aid, global public health, sustainability initiatives, and basic research,” the letter said. “We must end the forever wars, heal our veterans, and re-orient towards a holistic conception of national security that centers public health, climate change and human rights.”

The report comes a week after Bloomberg, citing three current or former defense officials, said Pentagon officials were crafting a flat fiscal 2022 budget plan instead of an increase anticipated if former President Donald Trump had retained the White House.

The Trump administration proposed about $722 billion for the Defense Department in the fiscal year that begins Oct. 1, 2021. The Pentagon’s 2020 budget was $705 billion.  

China, meanwhile, this month announced that its 2021 defense budget is going to be $1.35 trillion yuan, an increase of 6.8 percent over the 2020 budget.

The letter to Biden was organized by Reps. Barbara Lee of California, Mark Pocan of Wisconsin and Jake Auchincloss of Massachusetts.

Frederico Bartels, a defense budget analyst with the Heritage Foundation, told Bloomberg “the important signal” of a $704 billion number “is that the administration is content in operating with a flat budget.

“The administration’s math seems to be that the Pentagon can do more without extra resources," Bartles said.

Conversely, House Republicans want Biden to increase the defense budget by 3 to 5 percent, adjusted for inflation.

“As you prepare your administration’s fiscal year 2022 [FY22] budget for submission to Congress, we urge you to reject demands from many on the left to cut or freeze defense spending at current levels,” eight GOP lawmakers from the House Armed Services Committee wrote to Biden. “The next four years are going to be a crucial turning point for our military and our nation. If we do not make the investments our military needs today, we will not be able to defend our nation or our allies in the future.”

China, they said, “will fully modernize its military, potentially bringing it into parity with our own.”

The Republicans also urged Biden to “make key investments that will modernize the force and fill ongoing readiness gaps” focused on cyber warfare, nuclear triad modernization, growing the Navy ― “and quickly incorporate the latest innovations and enhancements into warfighting capabilities, including air and sealift, space, missile defense, munitions, and electronic warfare.”

Solange Reyner

Solange Reyner is a writer and editor for Newsmax. She has more than 15 years in the journalism industry reporting and covering news, sports and politics.

© 2024 Newsmax. All rights reserved.


Politics
Fifty House Democrats say excessive Pentagon spending won't make the U.S. safer and are urging President Joe Biden to slash the Department of Defense's budget.
biden, democrats, pentagon, budget
504
2021-57-16
Tuesday, 16 March 2021 04:57 PM
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