Senate Armed Services Chairman Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) on Wednesday said he would oppose a budget request that trims defense spending by 2.2 percent to $700 billion in fiscal 2020, a figure top administration officials have said President Trump is planning to propose. Inhofe said $733 billion, the spending level for national security originally proposed by the administration, “should be considered a floor, not a ceiling, for funding our troops.” The chairman’s remarks signal a possible showdown with the House Armed Services Committee next year. Rep. Adam Smith (D-Wash.), who is expected to lead the panel in the 116th Congress, has said current defense spending is unsustainable due to the nation’s rising debt levels, reports the Washington Examiner.
Inhofe pointed to a new report which concluded the U.S. military has failed to keep pace with its adversaries. “In particular, I am troubled by the commission’s unequivocal assessment that the National Defense Strategy is not adequately resourced, and that our nation is ‘very near the point of strategic insolvency,’” he said. “I agree with the commission’s report that there must be ‘greater urgency and seriousness in funding national defense’ in order to ensure we can undertake essential nuclear and conventional modernization while rectifying readiness shortfalls.”
DOD photo by Army Sgt. James McCann