U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, today praised the two-year budget agreement announced by President Trump:
“I’ve said over and over again that we need a budget deal that prioritizes defense—and I am pleased this budget agreement does just that by providing predictability and much-needed growth to our defense budget. Without this agreement, we cannot guarantee on-time funding for the training, resources and equipment our service members need.
“It rightly invests more in our military and veterans than in social programs—proving our commitment to troops, veterans and military families in a tangible way. It also ends sequestration, so Democrats can no longer hold defense spending hostage for their liberal agenda.
“While I am disappointed that the topline total for defense funding is not $750 billion—the amount recommended by the nonpartisan National Defense Strategy Commission report, requested in President Trump’s budget and authorized with a bipartisan Senate vote—I am relieved to see a defense topline that exceeds what the House Democrats wanted to provide. This is absolutely critical as we rebuild and modernize our military to meet the needs of a nation increasingly at risk.
“Most importantly of all, this budget agreement lays the groundwork to pass our authorization and appropriations bills on time for the second year in a row so we can avoid a continuing resolution that would shortchange our troops and waste taxpayer dollars. At every hearing the Senate Armed Services Committee has had this year, our military and civilian defense leaders have called for predictable, on-time budgets to strengthen our national security and have outlined how a continuing resolution would harm readiness and the quality of life of our men and women in uniform. This budget deal keeps our commitment to them and the service members under their command. I commend President Trump for fighting for responsible funding levels while giving our troops what they need."
Background: In a November 29, 2018, op-ed with House Armed Services Committee Ranking Member Mac Thornberry (R-Texas), Inhofe said, “too much is at stake. This is a time to follow through on the progress of the past two years and give our troops the sustained, sufficient, predictable funding they deserve.” The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2020 (S. 1790), led by Inhofe, reflected this position, and passed the Senate with broad bipartisan support with a vote of 86-8.