Graham Criticizes Defense Spending in Debt Ceiling Deal: ‘Biggest Winner of Biden Defense Budget Is China’

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Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) warned House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) that China would beryllium the beneficiary of the U.S. defence fund projected successful the tentative indebtedness ceiling deal.

“I respect Kevin McCarthy. I privation to rise the indebtedness ceiling. It would beryllium irresponsible not to bash it. I privation to power spending. I’d similar to person a smaller IRS. I’d similar to claw backmost the unused COVID money. I cognize you can’t get the perfect—but what I volition not bash is follow the Biden defence fund and telephone it a success,” Graham told Fox News connected May 28.

“Kevin said that the defence is afloat funded. If we follow the Biden defence budget, it increases defence spending beneath inflation,” Graham added.

“The Biden defence fund was a gag before, and if we follow it arsenic Republicans we volition beryllium doing a large disservice to the enactment of [former President] Ronald Reagan,” helium added. “The biggest victor of the Biden defence fund is China due to the fact that they’ll person a bigger navy.”

The indebtedness ceiling statement negotiated betwixt the White House and Republican leaders successful the House would headdress defence backing astatine President Joe Biden’s defence fund request, astatine $886 cardinal successful fiscal 2024, astir a 3.5 percent increase. That is beneath the existent complaint of inflation, which was 5 percent successful March and 4.9 percent successful April.

Epoch Times Photo House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) speaks to the property aft gathering President Joe Biden to sermon the indebtedness bounds astatine the White House successful Washington connected May 22, 2023. (Madalina Vasiliu/The Epoch Times)


The Navy’s stock of the FY2024 defence fund is estimated astatine $255.8 billion, an magnitude that Republican lawmakers person argued is inadequate fixed however rapidly China is gathering up its navy.

During a legislature proceeding successful March, U.S. Navy Secretary Carlos del Toro acknowledged that nether the existent fund proposal, the U.S. Navy would person 291 ships by 2028, portion China would person “upward of 440” ships.

As of April, the U.S. Navy had a fleet of 298 ships, according to the the Congressional Research Service (pdf).

China presently maintains the largest navy successful the world. According to the Pentagon’s 2022 study connected China’s subject (pdf), the Chinese navy has astir 340 ships and submarines, including astir 125 large aboveground combatants.

“The overmatch with China is real. The Biden defence fund makes it adjacent worse for us. I look guardant to the details, but if you nonstop maine the Biden defence fund to the United States Senate and state it afloat funds the military, you volition person a hard clip with me,” Graham said.

The South Carolina legislator added that helium would not beryllium “intimidated” by June 5, the deadline marked by Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen to debar a default connected the nation’s fiscal obligations.

“We should rise the indebtedness ceiling, but we should not cripple the military’s quality to support the federation arsenic a trade-off,” Graham added. “Spending beneath ostentation is not afloat backing the military. Cutting the size of the Navy lone helps China.”

Epoch Times Photo Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen addresses to soldiers amid the COVID-19 pandemic during her sojourn to a subject basal successful Tainan, confederate Taiwan, connected April 9, 2020. (Sam Yeh/AFP via Getty Images)


During the Fox News interview, Graham was besides asked to remark astir U.S. subject supply, successful the lawsuit that China decides to invade Taiwan.

“Ukraine’s depletion of U.S.-supplied materiel is outstripping the capableness of American defence firms to rapidly replenish it,” big Shannon Bream said, quoting from a February nonfiction from Defense News. “A Center for Strategic and International Studies study past period recovered the U.S. defense-industrial basal is unprepared for a notional conflict with China implicit Taiwan.”

“How bash we negociate that?” Bream asked Graham.

“If you don’t spot the transportation betwixt Ukraine and China, you’re missing a lot,” Graham responded. “We request much defence spending. They’re close astir the weapons. We request to summation our arsenal. We person aggregate threats. Let’s assistance Ukraine decision [Russian President Vladimir] Putin. End the warfare connected favorable presumption successful Ukraine, you’ll marque China little apt to invade Taiwan.”

He added: “The defence fund that they’re proposing arsenic portion of this woody makes it intolerable for america to bash the things we request to do. You’re reducing defence spending astatine a clip we request much of it.”

The report, which was published successful January, recovered that the United States would apt tally retired of cardinal long-range, precision-guided munitions successful little than 1 week successful a conflict against China defending Taiwan.

“These shortfalls would marque it highly hard for the United States to prolong a protracted conflict—and, arsenic concerning, the deficiencies undermine deterrence,” the study says. “These problems are peculiarly concerning since China is heavy investing successful munitions and acquiring high-end weapons systems and instrumentality 5 to six times faster than the United States, according to immoderate U.S. authorities estimates.”

Taiwan is simply a self-ruled ideology with its ain military, constitution, and currency. However, the Chinese Communist Party sees the self-ruled land arsenic a portion of its territory that indispensable beryllium reunited with the mainland, by unit if necessary.