WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator Roger Wicker, R-Miss., joined Senate Appropriations Committee Vice Chairman Richard Shelby, R-Ala., and Senate Armed Services Committee Ranking Member Jim Inhofe, R-Okla., in introducing a budget amendment which would instruct the Senate to address the military’s most pressing infrastructure needs. Wicker, Shelby, and Inhofe introduced a similar amendment to H.R. 3684, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, but Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., blocked it from receiving a vote.
“As national Democrats continue their headlong rush toward a massive $3.5 trillion reckless tax and spending spree, Senate Republicans are working to ensure the needs of our nation’s military are not overlooked,” Wicker said. “Over the past few days, Senator Shelby, Senator Inhofe, and I have offered a sensible proposal that would help to address a massive backlog of repair and construction projects at Department of Defense facilities, including our nation’s shipyards, but our efforts have been blocked at every turn. These provisions have wide support from our defense leaders, and I know for a fact that many of my Democratic colleagues agree they are necessary in light of recent advances by China and Russia. I am hoping that common sense will prevail, and they will agree that this is an investment we cannot afford to skip over.”
“Democrats are all too willing to neglect our defense infrastructure needs while spending hand over fist on their liberal wish list. This so-called budget proposal is yet another example of that. Supporting trillions of taxpayer dollars for other infrastructure and social programs without investing in our national defense is shameful and inexcusable. We are responsible for providing our men and women in uniform what they need to protect us, and this amendment helps accomplish that. National security is supremely important. If Senate Democrats continue to prioritize a reckless social spending spree and ignore the needs of our Armed Forces, the future of this country will be in jeopardy,” stated Vice Chairman Shelby.
“President Biden’s defense budget proposal was woefully inadequate, and Senator Sanders’ and the Senate Democrats’ reckless tax-and-spend budget continues these misguided efforts to shortchange national defense funding when we can least afford it,” Ranking Member Inhofe said. “Our amendment provides an additional $50.2 billion for vital defense infrastructure that supports high-paying jobs in states across the country, improves the lives of Americans, especially our service members and their families, and makes our country safer and more secure. Senator Schumer didn’t allow a vote on this amendment during the infrastructure debate, but there’s no stopping amendments during vote-a-rama.”
The senators’ amendment would provide $50.2 billion for national defense priorities. The amendment would include the provisions of Wicker’s SHIPYARD Act, which would provide $25 billion to address maintenance and modernization backlogs at shipyards across the country.