Shelby continues to hammer Biden’s defense cuts — ‘Wrong message to our allies and our adversaries’
U.S. Senator Richard Shelby (R-AL) has been unrelenting in his criticism of President Joe Biden’s proposed defense cuts.
Alabama’s senior senator continued his quest to support the nation’s defense effort on Thursday at a subcommittee hearing for the Senate Committee on Appropriations. Shelby serves as vice chairman of the powerful committee.
While addressing high-ranking Navy and Marine Corps officials, Shelby called Biden’s fiscal year 2022 budget proposal “meager” while criticizing it for “reducing end strength and procurement investments.”
The purpose of the meeting was a review of the Navy and Marine Corps portions of the president’s budget. Acting Navy Secretary Thomas W. Harker, Admiral Michael Gilday, Chief of Naval Operations and General David H. Berger, Commandant of the Marine Corps testified on behalf of their respective military branches.
Shelby emphasized that Biden’s budget failed to adequately account for growing threats from the nation’s foreign adversaries.
“You all are very well aware that our adversaries, including China and Russia, pose new and increasing threats,” he stated. “They are making unprecedented investments in their capability and capacity – investments that this budget does not even come close to matching.
“The reductions are proposed despite the need to maintain readiness and make progress on key modernization priorities like the Navy’s leg of the nuclear triad and the introduction of new weapon systems,” Shelby continued.
This is the second time in less than a week that Shelby has voiced his concern about the defense budget.
At a full committee hearing, and in front of Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, Shelby pointed out that the military buildups by China and Russia were “continuing to outpace U.S. investments.”
He conveyed that he could not support an effective cut in defense spending for 2022.
Among other areas of concern, Shelby highlighted on Thursday were the Department of Defense’s previous commitments to congress regarding its long-term shipbuilding plans. The president’s budget failed to support existing multi-year procurement contracts, according to Shelby.
Shelby summarized his concerns about Biden’s budget proposal, saying it “sends the wrong message to our allies and our adversaries.”
Tim Howe is an owner of Yellowhammer Multimedia