House Republican Cuts Weaken Our National Security

March 24, 2023
Press Release

Based on information the House Appropriations Committee received from agency leaders in the Biden Administration, House Republicans’ reported proposal to cut fiscal year 2024 discretionary spending back to the fiscal year 2022 enacted level would weaken our national security:

“Investments to keep our nation safe are not free from House Republicans’ chopping block,” said Appropriations Committee Ranking Member DeLauro. “While some of my colleagues have said that defense funding would be exempt from these cuts, many of them remain silent on the issue. Cuts of this magnitude put our national security at risk, undermine military readiness, break promises made to our allies, and gravely impact the brave women and men in uniform who defend our country. Even if defense funding is not a candidate for their dangerous cuts, and the entire burden falls on non-defense agencies—to summarize Secretary Austin and Under Secretary McCord—it would be just as harmful. No matter how you slice it, the House Republican proposal would impede our ability to meet pressing global challenges, both now and in the future.”

“The modest increase in Defense funding proposed by President Biden meets the needs of our U.S. service members and their families, and it is important to be careful about inflating Defense spending above this request,” said Defense Subcommittee Ranking Member Betty McCollum. “The previous Congress and the Biden administration made two years of key investments in the American people: In transportation and clean energy, in health care, and education and workforce development. Continuing these investments is critical to ensuring the future of the Defense workforce and meeting our national security goals. To put it plainly, we are only as strong abroad as we are here at home, and we cannot afford to fund the Defense bill on the backs of the other 11 appropriations bills.”

“U.S. leadership and strategic interests requires the United States to be present and show up,” said State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Subcommittee Ranking Member Barbara Lee. “The GOP budget cut proposals to crucial agencies like USAID and the State Department are irresponsible and counterproductive. Ambassadorial vacancies, lack of an adequate and diverse staff, and inability to engage at all levels puts the United States on a backfoot. Our greatest challenges are multi-dimensional and cross borders, which means we need to work with countries and institutions with mutual interests to share the burden and solve real problems. The GOP’s budget proposal undercuts our ability to do that.”

“These proposed Republican cuts are not only cruel, short-sighted, and guaranteed job killers for working class and vulnerable Americans, but they also undermine national security for all of us,” said Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies Subcommittee Ranking Member Debbie Wasserman Schultz. “From massive cuts that weaken readiness and stymie global deterrence efforts, to budget squeezes that spur costly delays in our warhead modernization efforts and undermine the military infrastructure investments that will only exacerbate servicemember recruitment and retention issues, these extreme Republican cuts are threats not just to our safety net – but to the overall safety of our nation.”

These drastic proposed cuts would:

Undermine military readiness.

  • The House Republican proposal to cut to the fiscal year 2022 level would result in a $100 billion cut below the strategy-driven level—undermining military readiness, weakening our deterrence against the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), and impeding our ability to meet pressing global challenges, both now and in the future.

Damage efforts to deter the CCP.

  • The House Republican plan would degrade and delay the Department of Defense’s efforts to increase capabilities, infrastructure, influence, and deterrence in the Indo-Pacific theater. The cuts, when applied to defense, would jeopardize crucial elements of the Department’s strategy in the region, including investments in the Pacific Deterrence Initiative and the development and procurement of critical munitions like the Long Range Anti-Ship Missile and the Standard Missle-6.
  • Cuts to foreign assistance would set back efforts to support a free, open, connected, secure, and resilient Indo-Pacific region and decrease U.S. influence and opportunities for U.S. partners in the region.

Set back the Navy and the Air Force.

  • These types of cuts in funding for the Department of Defense could force the Navy to cut at least two capital ships, eliminating a new Virginia class submarine and a new DDG-51 destroyer. The cuts would likely cause significant disruption and delays to the B-21 bomber program, which is now starting to enter production. 

Decrease our ability to recruit and retain service members.

  • Under the Republican proposal, the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) will provide 13 million fewer visits and Veterans will have to wait longer to receive benefits.
  • We make promises to our service members to support them after leaving the military. The House Republican proposal would drastically cut funding for our Veterans, putting those promises in jeopardy.

Weaken our development leadership and economic competitiveness.

  • Strong diplomatic relationships are key to our national security. The House Republican proposal would jeopardize our national security by drastically decreasing our ability to support Ukraine and its neighbors; counter the influence of the CCP; resource the Indo Pacific Strategy; and maintain our leadership in humanitarian assistance and global food security programs.

Abandon vulnerable people around the world.

  • Proposed House Republican cuts would reduce U.S. leadership in response to growing humanitarian crises, including from protracted conflicts and food insecurity caused by multi-season droughts and climate-induced disasters.

More information on how House Republican proposals weaken our national security can be found here. Watch House Appropriations Committee members examine these cuts in budget hearings here.

118th Congress