China increasing military spending as US lowers it

China announced it would increase military spending by 12.2 percent this year from last, the same week the Pentagon announced its budget request for 2015 was staying flat for a third year, at $496 billion. 

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China announced on Wednesday it would increase military spending to almost $132 billion in 2014, a 12.2 percent increase and a higher rate of growth than in previous years, according to a report by the New York Times

Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainHow House Republicans scrambled the Russia probe The Hill's 12:30 Report The Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by CVS Health - A pivotal day for House Republicans on immigration MORE (R-Ariz.) raised the statistic at a hearing on the budget on Wednesday, and criticized the administration for shrinking defense budgets at a time when China was becoming more aggressive.

Meanwhile, the 2015 U.S. defense budget request would leave spending unchanged from fiscal years 2013 and 2014, and more than $30 billion below defense funding for years 2010, 2011, and 2012, according to Sen. Carl LevinCarl Milton LevinHow House Republicans scrambled the Russia probe Congress dangerously wields its oversight power in Russia probe The Hill's Morning Report — Sponsored by CVS Health — Trump’s love-hate relationship with the Senate MORE (D-Mich.) at the hearing. 

Lawmakers across the aisle lamented the shrinking defense budget but disagreed on how to raise it. 

Administration officials pushed for lawmakers to overturn congressionally-imposed defense budget cuts known as sequestration, while Republicans pushed for the administration to lower spending on entitlements. 

“Some in this town have accepted that gutting our military is necessary to rein in our growing debt. They couldn’t be more wrong," said Sen. Jim InhofeJames (Jim) Mountain InhofeOvernight Energy: EPA moves to roll back chemical plant safety rule | NASA chief says humans contribute to climate change | Pruitt gets outside lawyer House lawmakers to unveil water resources bill on Friday North Korea’s threat casts doubt on Trump-Kim nuclear summit MORE (R-Okla.). “Defense spending isn’t what’s driving our debt crisis. Runaway entitlement spending is the real driver of our exploding national debt."