By TOM JOYCE
THE CENTER SQUARE STAFF REPORTER
(The Center Square) — U.S. Rep. David Schweikert, R-Arizona, wants to trim what he views as unnecessary spending in the military budget.
Rep. Schweikert filed an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act to eliminate more than $6 billion in additional inflation-adjustment spending.
The amendment would strike additional inflation-adjustment spending for fuel inflation, civilian personnel inflation pay, and military construction. It comes as a response to an amendment filed by U.S. Rep. Jared Golden, D-Maine, who filed an amendment to increase spending by $37 billion. That’s in addition to the proposed $840 billion military budget.
“There is no question that reckless spending by Democrats and the Biden administration have contributed greatly to inflation that is burdening families in every corner of our country,” Rep. Schweikert said. “The last thing we should do is use taxpayer dollars to subsidize increased federal spending to cover rising inflation costs in our annual defense bill. I hope that Democrats accept my amendment and strike this wasteful and unnecessary spending.”
The National Taxpayers Union praised Rep. Schewikert and said his amendment is a fiscally responsible move.
“At a time when too few lawmakers are willing to thoughtfully consider where America might be spending too much at the Pentagon, Congressman Schweikert has offered a prudent as well as necessary reduction to the national defense topline — around $6 billion, when the House-proposed budget is already $37 billion higher than it was just a short month ago,” Andrew Lautz, director of Federal Policy of the National Taxpayers Union, said in a news release. “Lawmakers who proposed an inflation adjustment to the Pentagon’s adjustment should have offset those increases with cuts elsewhere, and they did not. NTU is proud to support this amendment from Rep. Schweikert.”
Rep. Golden justified the spending increase that Rep. Schweikert wants to amend by citing the threat of foreign adversaries like China and North Korea.
“We need only look to world events in Ukraine, read reports regarding China’s plans and actions in the South China Sea, or simply read the latest headlines about Iranian nuclear ambitions and North Korean missile tests, as well as ongoing terrorist threats, in order to see why this additional funding is necessary to meet the security challenges of our time,” Rep. Golden said in a news release last month. “This amendment would authorize funding for one additional DDG-51 destroyer, make necessary investments in shipyard infrastructure, and provide further military aid for Ukraine, among many other critical provisions. We were able to pass this amendment today because of thoughtful negotiations that included the feedback of many members of this committee both Democrat and Republican.”