Congress rightfully rejects dangerous effort to cut defense budget by 10 percent
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Year after year, far leftist liberal progressives attempt to cut the defense spending budget. This year has been no different—except this time they have begun to deceptively use the coronavirus pandemic as an excuse to slash spending for our national security.

Last week, the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) was passed by the House of Representatives. Democrats, once again, offered their annual suggestions to reduce the amount of money the Pentagon receives. A select few of my colleagues took to the House floor asking for a “ten percent” cut to the Department of Defense (DoD) to fund aid for the pandemic—but the language of the amendments they were offering did not contain the words coronavirus or pandemic. Further, their proposed “ten percent” cut would have effectively been a 16 percent cut to funding for our troops because certain categories within DoD would have been exempt. To be frank, these amendments were not about health care or coronavirus. Proponents of this amendment touted the coronavirus as a means to a long-desired end: defunding our military.

It is notable to recognize that once brought before the House floor for a vote, this amendment failed miserably, with only 93 of my colleagues buying into the concept of a massive blind cut to DoD’s funding, and an overwhelming 324 members recognizing the risk this would create for our troops and our national security. In fact, even Majority Leader Steny HoyerSteny Hamilton HoyerHouse bundling is bad for deliberation CBC presses Biden to extend eviction moratorium Top House Democrats call on Biden administration to extend eviction moratorium MORE (D-Md.) and Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-S.C.) opposed the measure.


We know from experience that defense budget slashes are problematic. Our military is still recovering from a series of budget cuts that happened in 2013. During sequestration military readiness plummeted. Not only did the Pentagon falter in its development of new weapons and technology, but these cuts were so crippling that aircraft-related accidents increased and men and women in uniform were forced to work in buildings that literally could not afford to keep their lights on, including in my own district at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. Further, defense budget cuts hurt families—it defunds military housing, education, and health care programs.

The above is not to say that the coronavirus pandemic is not a problem meriting our attention. It most certainly is. This crisis has altered our nation in many ways, and undoubtedly it threatens many Americans. The coronavirus pandemic is not, however, a reason to cut defense spending, and as I explained, the two were never linked in this Democrat proposal to cut the defense budget.

Reducing military spending in these most uncertain times is an adverse response to the coronavirus pandemic. Those who serve in the branches of our armed services have a duty to protect Americans from threats of every nature. The coronavirus pandemic threatens national health. It makes the American people and American institutions more vulnerable. Now more than ever, it is critical that we ensure our most steady defenders are equipped to protect the United States from threats of all kinds, whether it be cyberattacks, threats posed by terrorist organizations or near-peer nations, or disease. And to do this, it is critical that Congress continue to reliably fund our military.

The world has not become a safer place. As we discuss cutting our budget for our military, our adversaries like China and Russia continue to move forward in their aggressions towards both the U.S. and our allies.

The Armed Services have a duty to protect the life and liberty of all Americans and it is imperative we give them the resources needed to carry out this critical task. With U.S. adversaries growing in strength and size, this obligation becomes even more important. The defense budget must reflect this.

Mike TurnerMichael Ray TurnerOvernight Defense: JEDI axed | Pentagon defends Bagram exit | Military justice reform coming soon Military braces for sea change on justice reform Lawmakers warn of growing threats to US satellites from adversaries MORE represents the 10th District of Ohio and is the ranking member on the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Strategic Forces.