Blue Dogs Call for Increased Defense Funding, Prioritizing of National Defense

June 24, 2021 by Dan McCue

WASHINGTON – The Blue Dog Coalition of House Democrats is calling on its congressional colleagues to approve the Biden administration’s $753 billion defense spending request for Fiscal Year 2022, saying the proposed $12.3 billion increase over last year will better enable the U.S. to counter the threat posed by China and to boost the nation’s cybersecurity.

The coalition addressed a letter to House Armed Services Committee Chairman Adam Smith, House Armed Services Committee Ranking Member Mike Rogers, House Appropriations Defense Subcommittee Chairwoman Betty McCollum, and House Appropriations Defense Subcommittee Ranking Member Ken Calvert. In the letter, the coalition’s leadership acknowledges that the president’s funding request is “strong and sensible.”

The Blue Dogs also said they would “oppose calls to authorize or appropriate funding below this level” since the United States “faces a formidable array of challenges” from non-state and state actors, including from Russia, China, Iran, North Korea, the Islamic State, and al Qaeda.

They added, “We agree with Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin that ‘China is our pacing threat’ and that ‘our goal is to make sure that we have the capabilities and the operational plans and concepts to be able to offer credible deterrence to China or anybody else who would want to take on the U.S.’”  

The Fiscal Year 2021 NDAA established the China-focused Pacific Deterrence Initiative and authorized $2.23 billion to fund its various components. The Blue Dogs would like to see at least $4.68 billion allocated to the program this year, as outlined in a recent report by Admiral Philip S. Davidson, the former commander of United States Indo-Pacific Command. 

The Blue Dogs are calling on Congress to provide “robust funding” to the newly established Office of the National Cyber Director, an office created to advise the president on cybersecurity, coordinate cyber policy across agencies and oversee the implementation of the National Cyber Strategy.  

Finally, the Blue Dogs are calling on Congress to let watchdogs be watchdogs, and are requesting at least level funding for both the Department of Defense Office of the Inspector General and internal Department of Defense auditors, namely the Naval Audit Service, the Air Force Audit Agency, and the Army Audit Agency.  They oppose the proposed cut to the Naval Audit Service. 

The letter was signed by Blue Dog members, Reps. Tom O’Halleran of Arizona, Ed Case of Hawaii, Stephanie Murphy of Florida, Abigail Spanberger of Virginia, and Kurt Schrader of Oregon. 

Also signing the letter was Rep. Mikie Sherrill of New Jersey, chair of the Blue Dog Task Force on National Security.

In The News

Health

Voting

Congress

Republicans Vow to Keep Raising Jan. 6 Questions, Despite Committee Fracas
Political News
Republicans Vow to Keep Raising Jan. 6 Questions, Despite Committee Fracas
July 23, 2021
by Dan McCue

WASHINGTON - As a select committee prepares to open its investigation Tuesday into the events leading up to and during the Jan. 6 insurrection on Capitol Hill, a trio of House Republican wonder what might have been. Everyone expected some controversy when House Minority Leader Kevin... Read More

Pelosi Says 'Deadly Serious' Jan. 6 Probe to Go Without GOP
Congress
Pelosi Says 'Deadly Serious' Jan. 6 Probe to Go Without GOP

WASHINGTON (AP) — Unfazed by Republican threats of a boycott, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi declared that a congressional committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection will take on its "deadly serious" work whether Republicans participate or not.  The Republicans' House leader, Kevin McCarthy, called the committee... Read More

Greenhouse Gases Heat Up Lawmakers’ Health Concerns
Climate
Greenhouse Gases Heat Up Lawmakers’ Health Concerns
July 21, 2021
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- The million acres of forest that burned in western states in the past week were a lesser concern for a congressional panel that discussed the hazards of high heat caused by climate change Wednesday. “It’s becoming a routine part of life on the West... Read More

House Democrats Urge Biden to Permanently Close Digital Divide
Congress
House Democrats Urge Biden to Permanently Close Digital Divide
July 21, 2021
by Dan McCue

WASHINGTON - House Democrats are urging President Joe Biden to permanently close the nation’s digital divide by targeting federal investments in broadband to the hardest to reach areas, while also providing a permanent, federally-funded broadband benefit program to financially vulnerable families. The effort is being spearheaded... Read More

Sexual Assault in the Military Subject of Congressional Hearing
Congress
Sexual Assault in the Military Subject of Congressional Hearing
July 21, 2021
by Alexa Hornbeck

The Subcommittee on Military Personnel held a hearing recently to discuss a new set of recommendations to better address sexual assault in the military. “The toll that sexual assault and sexual harassment has taken on our military is devastating and incalculable. We know the numbers, but... Read More

DC Circuit Strikes Down GOP Challenge to Proxy Voting
Congress
DC Circuit Strikes Down GOP Challenge to Proxy Voting
July 20, 2021
by Dan McCue

WASHINGTON  - A Republican-led challenge to a House resolution allowing members to vote remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic ended abruptly Tuesday after the D.C. Circuit held it had no authority to review a “core” legislative act of Congress. House Resolution 965 was adopted in May 2020... Read More

News From The Well
scroll top