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Wittman Statement on President Biden’s Defense Budget

Today, Congressman Rob Wittman, vice chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, released the following statement in response to President Biden’s defense budget for Fiscal Year 2025 (FY25):

“President Biden’s defense budget request is devoid of reality. With rising aggression from China, Russia, and Iran, our defense budget must reflect our new reality during this time of global unrest. As China increases its defense budget by 7.2%, it is more critical than ever that the United States projects strength on the world stage. President Biden’s defense budget fails to do so.

“The president is once again proposing to shrink the Navy by reducing the Navy force structure from 296 ships in FY24 to just 287 in FY25. By only building six ships, President Biden is also threatening to devastate our naval fleet and the Hampton Roads industrial base by slowing aircraft carrier construction and failing to meet the two Virginia-class submarines per year cadence required to support the AUKUS security pact.

“The president continues to decimate Air Force combat power by reducing the service’s total aircraft inventory by almost 130 airframes. Additionally, the president continues to gut an already deficient fighter capacity by terminating F-15EX production and underfunding F-35 modernization efforts – to include test capabilities – that will exacerbate the number of aircraft unfit for delivery. I’m also concerned that less than half of the Army’s modernization agenda is fully funded. 

“Even as the White House struggles to maintain or expand our inventories of aircraft, ships, vehicles, and the crucial long-range missiles required to deter China in the Indo-Pacific, it also shortchanges the defense innovation ecosystem. The Defense Innovation Unit’s budget does not meet the mandate from Congress and the Defense Department to accelerate adoption of emerging technologies for the U.S. military.

“In the FY25 National Defense Authorization Act, I will prioritize strengthening our shipbuilding industrial base, driving a real strategy on aircraft capacity and modernization, increasing production long-range fires, and investing in emerging technologies to meet the threat posed by our foremost foreign adversaries and ensure our warfighters have the resources they need to carry out their missions.”