May 28, 2021
U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), ranking member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, and U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Ala.), ranking member of the House Armed Services Committee, released the following statement on President Joe Biden’s fiscal year (FY) 2022 defense budget request:
“President Biden’s defense budget request is wholly inadequate — it’s nowhere near enough to give our service members the resources, equipment and training they need,” Inhofe and Rogers said. “It’s disingenuous to call this request an increase because it doesn’t even keep up with inflation — it’s a cut. Fundamentally, it does not adequately resource the 2018 National Defense Strategy, forcing impossible choices between readiness and modernization upon commanders and troops. We’re especially disappointed that the Pentagon has entirely missed the point of the bipartisan, bicameral legislation that established the Pacific Deterrence Initiative. A budget like this sends China and our other potential adversaries a bad signal — that we’re not willing to do what it takes to defend ourselves and our allies and partners.
“Congress has the power of the purse, and we will work with our colleagues to get our military a sufficient defense topline in place that focuses resources on the Pentagon’s key mission areas.”
Background: As the lead Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee, Inhofe’s top priority has been ensuring the U.S. Armed Forces have the resources needed to deter and, if necessary, defeat potential adversaries, including China and Russia. When President Biden released his “skinny budget” on April 9, Inhofe joined Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Vice Chairman Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Senate Budget Committee Ranking Member Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), and Senate Appropriations Committee Vice Chairman Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) in a statement expressing disappointment in the defense topline. In April, he penned an op-ed in Newsweek calling the FY22 defense budget the Biden Administration’s “first test” on China, and in May, he released an op-ed on RealClearDefense dispelling the myth that the U.S. spends more on defense than the next 10 countries combined. He has also delivered a series of floor speeches called “Common Sense for the Common Defense” where he highlights various ways a strong defense topline supports America’s national security objectives — including supporting America’s allies and partners, countering China’s military build-up, and supporting our service members.