Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA), the progressive caucus deputy whip, on Friday slammed President Joe Biden’s proposed defense spending increase.
Biden unveiled his “skinny” budget proposal that outlines his priorities as Congress prepares to start the annual appropriations process later this spring. The “skinny” budget calls for $1.52 trillion in spending and, if passed, would drastically increase domestic spending on health care, coronavirus-related programs, and other social welfare programs.
Khanna, a member of the House Armed Services Committee, contended that the Biden budget proposal fails to return to the Obama-era defense spending levels. The budget would provide a 1.7 percent boost to military spending.
At a time when his own Treasury Secretary, Janet Yellen, recently criticized a federal budget that is basically ‘military and pensions’ without building our productivity capability here at home, it’s disappointing that President Biden would propose a budget of $715 billion for the Pentagon, an increase of 1.6% over Trump’s $704 billion budget, instead of working toward returning to the Obama-Biden era spending levels.
I am pleased to see that the proposal eliminates the overseas contingency operations (OCO) slush fund, but I am concerned that this budget will likely include other wasteful spending such as funding the new GBSD ICBM missiles that will cost almost $100B (over 10 years).
Lisa Gilbert, the executive vice president of the left-leaning Public Citizen, praised the budget’s focus on increasing domestic spending rather than feeding the “military-industrial complex.”
She said, “As Congress moves forward with this guidance for appropriating, they still have time to adjust the budget and meet true human needs rather than blindly fulfill demands from the military-industrial complex and its lobbyists.
“We need a fundamental shift in how we address national security issues and invest in climate action and pandemic response,” the California progressive said. “Those are the issues impacting the security of the American people and will keep Americans safer than spending billions on more deadly weapons.”
Sean Moran is a congressional reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter @SeanMoran3.