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WASHINGTON—US Senator Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska), a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC), led a press conference yesterday with several of his Senate Republican colleagues, including SASC Chairman Jim Inhofe (R- Okla.), Calling for President Joe Biden to prioritize national defense and homeland security in the administration’s budget proposals. According to Washington post, the president’s budget request of $ 6 trillion for fiscal year 2022 dramatically increases discretionary funding for most departments and agencies, but increases for the Defense and Homeland Security departments do not even keep pace with the inflation.
Also on Thursday, Senator Sullivan pleaded for a strong defense budget on the floor of the Senate.
Transcript of Senator Sullivan’s opening speech
Good afternoon everyone. We are here because we are coming home for the 4th of July weekend. We are all preparing to celebrate freedom, independence and our freedom. I’m sure you’ve all seen [the words] at the Korean War Memorial carved in stone: “Freedom is not free. This is something we are all going to celebrate: the sacrifices of our military [which] have kept us free for hundreds of years, not just in our country, of course, but all over the world.
I had the opportunity to travel with a few of my Democratic colleagues — Senator Coons and Senator Duckworth — recently to Korea and Taiwan. [When] you go to these countries, you get that sense of pride as an American because there is no way to have these economically vibrant democracies without the sacrifice of our military. It is safe to say, in fact, that hundreds of millions of people around the world have been freed from oppression and tyranny thanks to the US military. It is a fact and, of course, it costs money.
Budgets reflect the values and priorities of an administration. Many of us believe that defending our nation should be the number one priority. What we’re here to talk about and highlight is when you watch Biden’s $ 6 trillion explosion [budget], they or they [do not] prioritizing military spending – the Department of Defense and spending on our military – is not just number one or number two priority over all other federal agencies. It’s good last. Dead last. When you look at where the inflation numbers are, it’s actually a reduction of almost 3%. Everything else [gets] two digits [increases]. The army is dead last and [it’s] dangerous.
Last week we had Defense Secretary and Joint Chiefs Chairman General Milley and Secretary Austin before the Armed Services Committee and I had the opportunity to ask them, “How do you say to our troops that we prioritize our army? The answer is, you can’t. The Biden administration is not. Just look at the budget, just look at the numbers. So like so many things here, like so many with this administration, far left fingerprints are all over this budget.
Since the end of the Vietnam War, the far left of the Democratic Party is truly the anti-military party. And if you remember last summer we distributed this, some of you may have seen it. It was Bernie Sanders’ amendment to the NDAA. It was literally called the “Defund the Pentagone” amendment. 14% cross sections. Chuck Schumer was one of the cosponsors. We defeated it, but, unfortunately, now that they are in power — the Senate Majority Leader and the Chairman of the Budget Committee — they could have the final say. But, of course, it’s no laughing matter.
Tomorrow some of you may know, June 25 is 71st anniversary of the start of the Korean War. In the summer of 1950, thousands of Americans died because our forces were not ready, because military leaders – in uniform and civilians – had drastically reduced our defense budgets and they were not prioritizing. to our military.
We can never let this happen again. We are here to call on the president to put our national security, our troops first, especially as this Independence Day weekend approaches. And, most importantly, we want you in the media to do that too. Talk to our pro-defense Democratic senators. See if they support it. I can tell you they don’t. I have spoken to many of them. See what they think. We therefore call on them to fight for a real budget which considerably increases, and not cuts, our military spending. It is a huge problem for our party. It should be for all Americans, and it should be bipartisan. i am proud to have [so many of] my Senate colleagues here.
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