Inhofe Decries Defense Budget Cuts

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), a senior member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, today expressed disappointment in the significant defense cuts in President Obama’s budget.  The Appendix to his FY2010 budget shows President Obama’s total spending proposals on a line-by-line basis and includes $17 billion in cuts to 121 programs, a number less than half of 1% of Obama’s overall budget. 

“I could not be more disappointed in the priorities the President’s budget reveals, in which national security apparently ranks dead last,” Senator Inhofe said. “President Obama’s budget, the largest in the history of America, triples the public debt in 10 years and funds every welfare program imaginable, but cuts funding for our troops in the field during an ongoing war.  I could not be more disappointed in the priorities the President’s budget reveals, in which national security apparently ranks dead last.  Our brave troops continue to fight overseas while their President guts our military, cutting programs such as Missile Defense, Future Combat Systems, F-22s, C-17s and the Next Generation Bomber.  These systems would not only provide for our national defense today, but will invest in our security for decades to come. 

“The military budget is shrinking.  It is becoming squeezed by inflation, increased manpower costs, increased funding of contingency operations costs from the core defense budget, and decreased wartime supplementals, now known as Overseas Contingency Operations, despite the fact that GAO has projected an increase in the cost of operations for Iraq and Afghanistan.  I was also surprised to see our Army budget increase by only 2.1%, the lowest of all the services, while they shoulder the brunt of our combat operations both on its equipment and its people.  There are more than 162,000 Soldiers deployed, more than 3.5 times the number of any other service.” 

Senator Inhofe has been an outspoken critic of the Obama Administration’s intent to “gut military spending”. In a YouTube press release from Afghanistan early this month Senator Inhofe said, “President Obama is disarming America. Never before has a president so ravaged the military at a time of war... The brunt of this decision will be felt by our men and women in uniform right here in Afghanistan.” After returning from his time abroad, Senator Inhofe spoke on the Senate floor providing a detailed assessment of the cuts, saying that we were heading “down a dangerous road leading to the gutting of our military and settling for ‘adequacy' versus ‘supremacy.”