Arizona Representative David Schweikert (R-AZ-06) introduced an amendment Monday to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) to remove $6 billion in additional inflation-adjustment spending.
“There is no question that reckless spending by Democrats and the Biden administration have contributed greatly to inflation that is burdening families in every corner of our country,” Schweikert said in a press release. “The last thing we should do is use taxpayer dollars to subsidize increased federal spending to cover rising inflation costs in our annual defense bill. I hope that Democrats accept my amendment and strike this wasteful and unnecessary spending.”
After Schweikert introduced his amendment, several fiscally conservative figures released a statement in support of Schweikert’s actions.
FreedomWorks President Adam Brandon said he thanks Schweikert for his efforts to curb increased spending for the military-industrial complex and U.S. Department of Defense bureaucrats.
“To give these people a raise to address inflation is a slap in the face to every American taxpayer. We hope this amendment gets the vote it deserves,” Brandon said.
Taxpayers for Common Sense President Steve Ellis said that with over $839 billion in authorized spending, “they can get by without the extra cash.”
Moreover, Director of Federal Policy for the National Taxpayers Union Andrew Lautz called Schweikert’s reduction necessary.
“At a time when too few lawmakers are willing to thoughtfully consider where America might be spending too much at the Pentagon, Congressman Schweikert has offered a prudent as well as necessary reduction to the national defense topline – around $6 billion, when the House-proposed budget is already $37 billion higher than it was just a short month ago,” Lautz said. “Lawmakers who proposed an inflation adjustment to the Pentagon’s adjustment should have offset those increases with cuts elsewhere, and they did not.”
As alluded to by Lautz, the $6 billion Schweikert’s amendment attempts to strike comes from a different amendment within the NDAA from Maine Representative Jared Golden (D-ME-02). In total, the Golden Topline Amendment adds an additional $37 billion to the NDAA, with $ 6 billion going towards a section titled “Helps Servicemembers and the Department Deal with Inflation.” This section provides funding to deal with construction inflation costs, fuel inflation, and “inflation-related personal bonuses, and additional housing and commissary support.”
Aside from inflation-related funding, Golden’s amendment also gives money to build a stronger navy by producing a DDG-51 destroyer ship and eight additional F/A-18 aircraft. Furthermore, the amendment also provides $550 million for additional assistance for Ukraine, $1.7 billion for servicemember quality of life, and $1 billion for advanced air and missile defense systems.
According to Schweikert’s press release, his amendment would only strike down the inflation adjustment funding while leaving the rest of Golden’s amendment intact.
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Neil Jones is a reporter for The Arizona Sun Times and The Star News Network. Follow Neil on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected].
Photo “David Schweikert” by Rep. David Schweikert. Background Photo “U.S. Capitol” by Mark Fischer. CC BY-SA 2.0.