A Republican representative expressed worry about military spending authorized under the debt ceiling relief bill introduced Sunday in Congress.
Monday remarks by Republican Congressman Michael Waltz during a “Fox & Friends First” interview noted China’s increasing military belligerence. The Florida lawmaker worried the 3.3% increase for U.S. military spending, $886 billion, is insufficient to remain prepared for unprecedented PRC aggression.
The New York Post further reported:
A GOP lawmaker is urging those spearheading debt ceiling talks to remain vigilant about the rise of US adversaries, emphasizing that a slashed defense budget could fuel trouble for the country’s national security.
During an appearance on “Fox & Friends First” Monday, Rep. Michael Waltz, R-Fla., expressed his uneasiness about jeopardizing US national security in order to reach a deal on the debt ceiling.
“The Chinese are on the march,” he warned. “We need to understand that within the next few years, they may make a move the likes of which we have never seen in the world.”
The Florida congressman’s concerns come as China and Iran advance their military and Russia’s continuous war efforts in Ukraine.
“Iran is racing towards a nuclear weapon and you could then have a nuclear arms race in the Middle East, not to mention Israel being wiped off the face of the earth and the Chinese are on the march,” Rep. Waltz added.
President Biden’s Defense budget has been ridiculed by Republican lawmakers as insufficient amid rocky relations between the US and its adversaries.
“I know there are those out there who say, look at the billions we spend on Defense. But you have to look at that in the context of what’s going on in the world,” the lawmaker explained.
The president’s budget proposal included an overall $886 billion for national security programs including $842 billion for the Dept. of Defense in fiscal year 2024, an increase of 3.2% or $26 billion over the $816 billion enacted for the DOD in FY2023.
“Biden’s budget, which this deal agrees to, would send our Navy backwards. We would retire more ships than we build,” Rep. Waltz said.
“The average age of our ships are double the age of the Chinese navy,” he added.
Despite the US navigating tension abroad, the potential of a debt default crisis still looms as the deadline inches closer.
On Sunday, President Biden announced that a bipartisan budget agreement was reached with House Speaker Kevin McCarthy that has taken the “threat of catastrophic default off the table.”
The president also denied making any concessions in the budget deal.
“We’ll see over the next few days as we comb through the language and as we talk to leadership,” Rep. Waltz said.
The debt ceiling deadline is June 5. Despite lawmakers’ concerns, the US has never defaulted on its debt.
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