The House and Senate passed $24 billion of additional amendments out of President Joe Biden’s proposal of $714 billion. It all happens out of a near recession and looming threats from the middle east.
Democrats have been big proponents of cutting defense budgets. Still, after Biden’s withdrawal from Afghanistan, which not only gave the Taliban $84 billion in military equipment, the United States has also sent the Taliban $64 million as a humanitarian effort. If anyone thinks the funds won’t go directly to the Taliban, you’re out of your mind.
Mark Pocan (D-WI) wants to cut the defense budget by 10% following a horrific evacuation effort and tens of millions going to Afghanistan. Pocan is saying that the U.S. should fund the Taliban while cutting our defense budget.
The Chinese government has been threatening Taiwan and the United States for months after Biden got into office and even before that. Cutting any defense budget would be a wrong move at this point. The Covid-19 vaccine mandate within the military will also push many military members out, and the U.S. will have to contend with what they have moving forward. That’s not to say that the military will be gutted, but losing even a portion of the U.S. military may be detrimental and would at least show weakness.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez suggested the 10% budget cut for Pocan. She said that after the war in Afghanistan is over and Covid-19 is running rampant. The U.S. should be focusing on our home front instead of spending more money on defense.
AOC also makes the case that increasing the defense budget causes defense contracts to inflate, and she’s partly correct. After leaving $84 billion worth of equipment in Afghanistan, the U.S. military has to replace many supplies. AOC suggests that the Pentagon relationship with defense manufacturers is ruptured and needs to be revised to keep the cost down, but what AOC is missing is that there are other ways around that, such as banning government workers from working for contract agencies after they retire or get voted out. Simple solution.
Mike Rogers (R-MI) says that the budget already in place is shrinking the Pentagon budget. The military also pays for housing, childcare, medical care, and other necessary items for our military. Rogers also has a good point. Inflation in the U.S. and the threat of tax-raising causes people to panic and try to make up for the possible revenue loss. With the cost of fuel skyrocketing to almost $4 in many places, it’s expected that the defense budget will be expected to increase at some point. The 10% that AOC and Pocan want to cut out probably wouldn’t even pay for the additional cost of fuel under the Biden administration.
With an arms race looming and Biden’s administration teaming with the United Kingdom and Australia alliance, the U.S. has to keep up with demand and the changing time of Biden’s decisions.