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U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), ranking member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, today released the following statement on the significant victories for national security in the fiscal year 2023 omnibus spending bill and his intent to vote in favor of the package.

“In the face of historic inflation, President Biden sent us a 2023 budget request that effectively cut military spending – failing to account for what was needed to maintain our Armed Forces as the premier fighting force and counter investments made by China in air, sea, space, and cyber. This Congress, I have been consistent in my position: we must provide our military the resources it needs to counter the threats our nation faces and the best way to do that is to follow the recommendation of the 2018 National Defense Strategy Commission in providing 3-5 percent real growth to the defense budget while also accounting for the ongoing detrimental impact of inflation on our Defense budget. This bill provides almost 5 percent real growth to the Defense Department.

“One week after passing the FY23 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), authorizing historic resources for our military, Congress will vote on an omnibus appropriations bill that increases defense spending by $45 billion above the president’s request. This process was not easy. My colleagues on the Senate Armed Services Committee led the way by supporting my amendment to increase the budget by $45 billion in the National Defense Authorization Act almost unanimously, 25-1. Our House colleagues also increased the budget. I am proud that Congress acted so decisively on such a significant issue.

“All year, Leader McConnell and Senator Shelby have held the line with a Democratic Leader, a Democratic Speaker, and a Democratic President on the need to increase resources for the Department of Defense. In particular, Senator Shelby’s work in his final year of service here in the Senate is a fitting capstone to that unwavering support for the military he’s shown for decades. I am grateful for his successful efforts in crafting this package.

“Just like the NDAA, this is not the package Republicans would have written on our own—but we all know how much worse it could have been for our military. The increase of $45 billion is absolutely preferable to a continuing resolution for several months or a full-year, and certainly Biden’s budget for the military. Every senior military leader I have spoken to has emphasized that fact. This increase will keep us from falling even further behind China and we will make significant progress in some areas because of it. However, I remain disappointed that the Biden administration refuses to comply with congressional inquiries regarding Taiwan’s military needs and refuses to request money to implement the Taiwan Enhanced Resilience Act. This is simply another national security misstep by the administration.

“Fortunately, in Europe, Republicans rejected the Biden administration’s request to decrease the rate of military aid to Ukraine, adding about $6 billion to the security portion of the supplemental without commensurate adds in the non-defense portion. Combined with strong Republican Ukraine oversight provisions in the FY23 National Defense Authorization Act and several anti-Russia measures, these bills will materially help the Ukrainians achieve victory more quickly.

“The bottom line is that this omnibus appropriations package provides the resources needed to provide for the common defense and support the readiness of the men and women serving in the military along with their families—and I look forward to voting in favor of this legislation on the Senate floor.”

Author: Press Release


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