WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) delivered the following remarks on the Senate floor on Monday regarding President Biden’s budget request:
“President Biden likes to say, and said again today, that ‘budgets are statements of values.’
“Indeed they can be. And the White House budget request that President Biden published today offers the clearest possible reminder that the Biden Administration’s far-left values are fundamentally disconnected from what American families need.
“I mentioned around President Biden’s State of the Union that the speech gave the President a chance to pivot. He’s had a chance to assess the poll numbers, read the tea leaves, and make a dramatic course correction back toward where Americans want him to be.
“But he chose not to. And this budget proposal is just the mathematical version of that failure to pivot. The White House is desperately spinning to call this budget centrist, but there is nothing remotely moderate about what’s in it.
“First and foremost, at a dangerous time, the President’s budget falls woefully short on defense funding. Our Commander-in-Chief has again failed to budget for the resources that our Armed Forces need.
“The Biden Administration proposes a nominal 4% increase for defense over the bipartisan bill Congress just passed for this year. That’s a nominal 4% increase before any of Democrats’ historic inflation is taken into account. And inflation right now is about twice that.
“Even if you accept the White House’s rosiest predictions about where inflation is heading, this would amount to flat-funding defense, with none of the robust growth we need to keep pace with Russia and China. Even in the best-case scenario for their budget, it would leave our Armed Forces just treading water.
“And what if Democrats’ historic inflation does not plummet downwards as quickly as they would like? What if the inflation they’ve caused keeps sticking around? Then President Biden’s budget would actually cut funding for our Armed Forces in real dollars.
“The world is a dangerous place and growing more dangerous by the day. Putin’s escalation in Europe has created significant new requirements for the Pentagon and our defense industrial base. We have growing threats from Iran. China is pouring money into high-tech weapons systems. Beijing announced they’re increasing defense spending again this year by more than 7%.
“Amid all this, the White House has proposed no meaningful increase in resources for protecting innocent Americans, promoting our interests, supporting our partners, assisting Ukraine, or replenishing our stockpiles.
“President Biden likes to give speeches about the need for American leadership in the world. But when the rubber meets the road, when it’s time invest so we can rise and meet challenges like Russia and China, this President has again decided to do the opposite.
“Putin and Xi will sleep more soundly at night if the Biden Administration gets its way on defense funding than if Republicans get ours.
“Now, let’s look at the places where President Biden does want to pull out all the stops and hand out massive funding increases.
“Our Armed Forces may get the short end of the stick from this White House, but plenty of far-left domestic priorities would be swimming in cash.
“While they limit defense to 4% growth before inflation, non-defense spending would get a significantly larger increase.
“Not all domestic spending. Border security and the Department of Homeland Security barely tread water, just like our troops. But other agencies and departments that are more useful for the far left’s agenda — like the IRS, the EPA, Commerce, HUD, and Labor — make out like bandits with gigantic increases of 20% and 30% since 2021.
“They want to pour money into absurdities like the U.N. Green Climate Fund — borrow from China to fund a global bureaucracy that will hand free money back to China.
“There’s plenty of money for things like anti-gun regulations, free lawyers for illegal immigrants, and something called ‘environmental justice.’
“This whole far-left feast leaves out the reckless taxing and spending spree that Democrats failed to pass last year and now want to revive. The Biden Administration still wants all that spending, too, but they couldn’t even budget for it honestly.
“And all of the bloated liberal nonsense comes paired with the biggest tax hike in American history.
“A 2.5-plus-trillion-dollar bomb of tax hikes dropped on top of an economy that Democrats’ policies have already hurt badly. Literally the largest tax hike in history.
“Among those increases, President Biden wants to use colossal tax hikes to punish domestic producers of American energy.
“World events are reminding us every day how important American oil and natural gas production is for our national security and for our partners, but President Biden would rather grind his ideological axe and escalate his holy war on Made In America fossil fuels.
“This is the budget request of an Administration that is disconnected from reality.
“Of a President who’s decided not to pivot.
“Of a Democratic Party that has chosen not to correct course on its own.
“Every data point suggests the American people want a major course correction.
“It appears that in about seven months, they may have to provide it themselves.”