Jun 01 2023

Graham Secures Commitment To Better Fund National Defense

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today made this statement after securing an agreement to better fund America’s defense and national security interests.

The agreement includes a commitment that the Senate will not be limited in its ability to respond to emerging or ongoing national security threats, including Russia’s unjust and unprovoked war in Ukraine, challenges posed by China with respect to our economy and the growing threat to Taiwan, and protecting vital interests and partners in the Middle East.  Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-New York) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) submitted statements into the Senate record outlining this commitment.

“I am pleased that after three days of unrelenting effort to inform this body of the devastating effects this debt limit deal would have on our national security and defense, we appear to now have a process in place to undo some of this damage.  I appreciate the willingness of my colleagues to work to roll back the devastating effects it will have on our national security.  However, I am still bitterly disappointed that we put ourselves in this position to begin with.

“As currently written, this bill puts our military behind the eight ball.  Military budgets should be based on threats, not political deals.  And today, we know that the world is a very, very dangerous place.  Tying the safety of our nation and our men and women in uniform with the fiscal health of this country was a mistake, which I hope we learn from and do not repeat.

“To the brave men and women in our underfunded U.S. military, help is on the way.  To the brave men and women in Ukraine, standing up against Russian aggression and in defense of their homeland, help is on the way.  To Taiwan and our Pacific allies and partners living in the shadow of China, help is on the way.

“I wish there was no war anywhere.  I wish China was not threatening the security of Taiwan.  I wish the Iranian Ayatollah did not want a nuclear weapon and would not use it if he could.  I wish that Putin’s Russia had not invaded Ukraine.  I wish the world was much different than the one we see today.  But I understand that if we want peace and stability, it comes at a high price.  The first and most important dollars we allocate each year in the budget are those to protect and defend the United States and our interests.  This should be and must always remain, our top priority.”

Graham, a chief critic of the Financial Responsibility Act’s (FRA) defense funding component, sounded the alarm on inadequate defense funding in light of the threats we face from China and the Middle East, and the ongoing war in Ukraine. Graham noted the defense funding in the FRA matches the Biden Administration’s defense budget request for fiscal year (FY) 2024 and is below the anticipated request for FY 2025 as outlined in the Future Years Defense Program.