SASC Chairman Inhofe Releases Views and Estimates Letter

U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, officially delivered his "views and estimates" on national defense spending for Fiscal Year 2020 to the Senate Budget Committee yesterday.  

In part, Inhofe said:

“…cutting defense spending is not the solution to our debt problem. It has long been documented that the driver of our debt is mandatory spending, rather than discretionary spending. Absent addressing the growth in mandatory spending first and foremost, reductions to defense spending will have little impact on the debt. More importantly, cutting defense spending at this critical time will have profound impacts on our security, prosperity, and place in the world. Simply put, attempting to reduce our national debt on the back of the defense budget will exacerbate our current national security crisis, while doing little to address the debt…

The letter continues:

“Furthermore, I must stress the urgency for which Congress must reach a budget agreement. If the past is any indication, absent a budget agreement the federal government will be operating on short-term continuing resolutions and possibly even sequestration. This uncertainty in budgets and appropriations creates significant waste within the government and makes cost-saving efforts futile. Even worse, if sequestration is not averted, much of the gains the military has made over the last two years will be squandered. Rather than conduct business as usual, we must find a way to pass a two-year budget deal early in the year that will pave the way for on-time authorization and appropriations bills. In this era of renewed strategic competition, passing on-time appropriations must be considered a matter of national security that will directly impact the ability of the United States to compete effectively with China and Russia.” 

The full Views and Estimates letter is available here.