WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), senior member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, today voted against H.R. 1314, the Bipartisan Budget Agreement of 2015. The legislation passed the Senate by a vote of 64 to 35.
“I could not support a budget deal that continues to underfund our national defense, especially while our nation is at war, and maintains the discriminatory nature of the Budget Control Act where non-defense and defense spending are treated equally,” Inhofe said. “Our nation’s spending on defense makes up less than 16 percent of the federal budget yet has been taking 50 percent of the sequester cuts. Even prior to sequestration, the president cut the Defense Department by $478 billion while increasing spending on his domestic pet projects by 30 percent. The president’s enduring legacy of holding hostage defense spending in order to advance his liberal domestic agenda has jeopardized American’s leadership around the world and weakened the capabilities of our military. The president’s domestic agenda won once again in this budget compromise with a debt ceiling increase without any meaningful mandatory spending reductions and additional funding to domestic programs.
“While the budget deal provided some relief for our military, it fails to acknowledge that the president has increased the commitments of our all-volunteer force more than was projected in his budget. In the past few months, the president has added troop rotations to Eastern Europe in response to Russian aggression, deployed additional forces to Iraq, announced he would keep 9,800 U.S. forces in Afghanistan, deployed forces to Cameroon to fight Boko Haram, and recently announced the deployment of special operations forces into Syria. As former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Gen. Martin Dempsey said, the president’s budget keeps DOD at the ‘lower ragged edge of manageable risk in our ability to execute our defense strategy; we have no slack.’ With contingency operations ongoing and even increasing, the Department of Defense must be fully funded.”