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May 19, 2021

Inhofe, Shelby Offer Amendment to Prioritize Defense Spending in U.S. Strategy to Compete with China

U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), lead Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee, and U.S. Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), vice chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, today filed an amendment to the U.S. Innovation and Competitiveness Act that would provide dollar-for-dollar parity between increases to defense and non-defense spending. The senators highlighted the necessity for robust defense spending to counter China’s global ambitions and criticized President Biden’s plans to dramatically increase non-defense spending while cutting defense spending.    

“China is our nation’s top threat, and the Chinese Communist Party is investing in the People’s Liberation Army at record rates,” the Senators said. “In our efforts to counter China’s quest for global hegemony, it would be shortsighted to ramp up our domestic investments in technology without also increasing defense spending and leveraging our expansive defense research and development enterprise.

“The best deterrent to Chinese ambition and aggression is a strong and feared American military. Providing the funding increases our military needs to counter this growing threat must be our highest priority. Instead, President Biden’s budget proposes cutting defense while increasing non-defense spending by nearly 20 percent. His priorities are out of order — a strong military underpins everything else we do to push back on China. That is why our amendment provides dollar-for-dollar parity in increases between defense and non-defense spending. We encourage our Democratic colleagues to join us in this effort for a whole-of-government approach to Chinese aggression. In light of the threat China poses, it’s hard to imagine anything that should garner more bipartisan support in the United States Senate.”      

The text of the amendment can be found here.



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