14 Dems break ranks, sign onto GOP measure to increase defense spending by nearly $25B

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The Democrat-controlled House Armed Services Committee adopted a Republican amendment to increase defense spending by nearly $25 billion. 

“The bipartisan adoption of my amendment sends a clear signal: the President’s budget submission was wholly inadequate to keep pace with a rising China and a re-emerging Russia,” the author of the amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act, Republican Rep. Mike Rogers, said in a statement. 

“I hope this bipartisan, and now bicameral, move is understood by the Biden-Harris administration. The defense of our nation will not be shortchanged by Congress. I thank my colleagues for adopting this amendment to support the men and women who serve in our armed forces.”

The amendment ensures defense spending growth of 3% above inflation, providing $778 billion in total defense spending in fiscal year 2022, a $37.5 billion increase from fiscal year 2021. In addition, the amendment reverses Biden defense spending cuts and fully authorizes combatant commander unfunded priorities. 

Fourteen Democrats broke ranks and signed onto the Republican amendment. 

“Without additional resources, we will lose another generation of shipbuilding in this country, and we will be less prepared to defend both the U.S. and our allies’ interests,” House Armed Services Committee vice chair Elaine Luria, a Democrat who voted in favor of the amendment, said earlier this week. “I intend to join Ranking Member Rogers and support the amendment adding $25 billion to our defense budget.”

The Rogers amendment also prevents the Navy from decommissioning three aging cruisers and provides billions in funding for more shipbuilding.

“We cannot afford to cut corners and play politics with our national security,” Rogers said about his amendment earlier this week. “President Biden’s proposed defense budget for FY22 was wholly inadequate — leaving our men in women in uniform in a vulnerable position and projected weakness to our adversaries.”

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