Shelby: Lack of Defense Parity Shortchanges America's Military
Robust Defense Needed to Counter China’s Global Ambitions and Aggression
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senate Appropriations Committee Vice Chairman Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) today spoke on the Senate floor ahead of a vote on his amendment to the U.S. Innovation and Competitiveness Act that would provide dollar-for-dollar parity between increases to defense and non-defense spending.
“The Chinese Communist Party understands and heeds only one thing: strength. A respected and feared American military is the bulwark against the rise of China. That is why we must not shortchange defense spending – not now, not ever. And that is why I am pleased to join my Republican colleagues in offering this amendment to ensure parity between increases in defense and domestic spending,” stated Shelby.
Vice Chairman Shelby and U.S. Senator Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), the lead Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee, offered the amendment yesterday and noted that robust defense spending is needed to counter China’s global ambitions. They also criticized President Biden’s plans to dramatically increase non-defense spending by nearly 20 percent while cutting defense spending.
Shelby’s full remarks, as prepared, are as follows:
“Mr. President, global hegemony is the Chinese Communist Party’s ultimate aim. And they have grown increasingly brazen in their power plays designed to seize it.
“The bill now before the Senate purports to counter Chinese ambition and aggression by accelerating American investment in critical technologies.
“But I believe such investment will fail to meet that objective if we shortchange America’s military. Unfortunately, that’s just what President Biden plans to do.
“Yes, amid all the tough talk about China, President Biden proposes increasing domestic spending by nearly 20 percent while holding defense spending flat.
“And that’s on top of several trillion more he has proposed in off-budget spending to supercharge the far-left agenda here at home.
“Meanwhile, China is heading in the opposite direction, increasing the budget for the People’s Liberation Army by nearly seven percent this year.
“Mr. President, don’t think they aren’t taking note of President Biden’s plans and sensing weakness and opportunity.
“The Chinese Communist Party understands and heeds only one thing: strength. A respected and feared American military is the bulwark against the rise of China.
“That is why we must not shortchange defense spending – not now, not ever.
“And that is why I am pleased to join my Republican colleagues in offering this amendment to ensure parity between increases in defense and domestic spending.
“I encourage my colleagues on the other side to join us.
“Projecting real strength to counter Chinese ambition and aggression should be a bipartisan objective.”
The full text of the amendment is linked here.
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