McConnell Doubles Down On U.S. Defense

Gage Skidmore from Peoria, AZ, United States of America, CC BY-SA 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

( – On Tuesday, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) stated that Congress would not agree to defense spending cuts and instead stated that they would be open to potential increases that were necessary in order to mitigate the threats posed by Russia and China.

McConnell clarified that he also did not agree with placing a freeze on the Pentagon’s budget or reducing the defense spending growth rate to less than the current rate of inflation. These moves would be part of a deficit reduction package that House Republicans might seek to introduce as part of a debt-limit legislation.

Earlier this month, McConnell also attended the Munich Security Conference during which he said that national security spending was shifting as the defense budget had not previously anticipated the large amounts of funding that have been spent on military aid to Ukraine following the Russian invasion.

McConnell added that he was in full agreement with Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), who has argued that defense spending should not be cut and that “substantial defense increases” are instead the best option. He added that the defense budget needs to be a reflection of the threat and pointed out that “not only Russia and Ukraine” but also China might prove to be a challenge in the future.

He added that lawmakers had done good in addressing defense spending in last year’s $1.7 trillion omnibus spending package and that in the current environment, they needed “to continue to plus up defense.” As he noted this was not only important for the U.S. but also for all NATO countries.

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