WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), a senior member of the Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC), recently sent a letter to U.S. Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) and U.S. Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas), co-chairs of the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, also known as the Super Committee, to formally highlight defense priorities and request the committee not slash necessary funds to the Department of Defense.
“Additional cuts beyond what has already been planned at the Department of Defense will cripple our nation’s military,” said Inhofe. “Defense spending did not create the budget crisis that our nation currently faces, and, as the most important function of government that protects our liberty, cutting important programs is dangerous and irresponsible. If the entire defense budget were to be zeroed out, our nation would still be crippled with debt because of endless bailouts, the failed stimulus, and runaway spending. Secretary of Defense Panetta and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Dempsey, agree that deeper cuts to the Department of Defense represent an unacceptable risk.
Inhofe continued, “During a time when our nation’s military budget is targeted, countries like China, Russia, Iran, and North Korea continue to build their military and weapons systems. A decade of war has worn out our nation’s men, women, and machines. Our nation’s military is in desperate need of modernization. Currently, our men and women in uniform are operating aircraft, ships, and ground vehicles that are upwards of 30 years old, significantly past their expected service life. While we must be mindful of how we spend tax payer dollars, developing new weapon systems like the F-35, Ground Combat Vehicle, and the Paladin Integrated Management Howitzer is vital.
The super committee has until Nov. 23 to develop a deficit savings plan that will save $1.2 trillion over the next 10 years.