February 10, 2020
U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, today released the following statement on the President’s budget request for Fiscal Year 2021:
“Thanks to President Trump, we’ve begun to rebuild our military after years of sustained armed conflict, worsened by years of deep cuts under the Obama Administration. Our military—the best military in the world—is now in better shape to take on growing threats around the world, particularly those posed by our strategic competitors China and Russia.
“That said, the topline stipulated by last year’s budget agreement was a compromise with the Democrats that unfortunately left us with less than the amount needed to fulfill the requirements of the National Defense Strategy Commission Report. The predictability this agreement was supposed to provide was squandered when Democrats delayed Fiscal Year 2020 appropriations. The $740.5 billion Fiscal Year 2021 topline for national defense is a real decline after inflation—to the tune of around $15 billion in real purchasing power. Cuts like this mean it’s harder to spend taxpayer dollars efficiently and prioritize funding in support of the National Defense Strategy—and that could mean taking a significant amount of strategic and military risk. An insufficient topline makes smart choices harder, but I commend Secretary Esper and President Trump for prioritizing nuclear modernization, creation of the Space Force, reforms to privatized housing and fundamental improvements to the department’s business operations. In the future, I will continue to fight for the real budget growth and reform needed to maintain our advantage over our adversaries and keep our nation secure.
“I look forward to reviewing the request in detail and moving forward with a National Defense Authorization Act that gives our troops the on-time, adequate funding needed to defend our nation and support our allies and partners.”