Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) and Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-Texas) have called on the Trump administration to back away from the plan to impose a $33B cut to the Defense Department’s budget for fiscal 2020.
Inhofe and Thornberry, chairmen of the Senate and House Armed Services Committees, wrote in a Wall Street Journal commentary piece posted Thursday that such a move would force DoD to enforce cuts in “areas where most money can be saved quickly—troops, new equipment, training and maintenance—as it did under sequestration in 2013.”
Both lawmakers called on President Donald Trump to order DoD to proceed with the $733B budget that he initially proposed for fiscal 2020.
They noted that the planned $33B budget cut might force Defense Secretary James Mattis to sacrifice readiness, reduce capabilities needed to maintain superiority over Russia and China and plan for reduced troop levels.
Thornberry and Inhofe said they believe “deliberate reform” could help DoD generate savings and not through the proposed $33B budget cut, which they said was driven by concerns over the increasing national debt.
“But cutting defense will not close the deficit,” they wrote.
“The deficit would keep growing even if we eliminated the entire Pentagon budget.”