Senate Appropriations Committee Vice Chairman Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), Senate Armed Services Ranking Member Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), and Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee Ranking Member Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) highlighted their concerns with the lack of resources for military infrastructure in H.R.3684, the “Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act,” which includes hundreds of billions of dollars to address critical infrastructure needs throughout the nation. The senators last week filed Amendment 2535 to include defense infrastructure funding in the comprehensive bill, but members were not given the opportunity to vote on the proposal.
“It is shameful that this massive infrastructure legislation contains not one dime for our military’s vast infrastructure needs. Not only that, Senate Democrats blocked every attempt to fix this glaring omission. This comes on the heels of legislation they claim will combat Chinese aggression but also includes nothing for our military. And now the Democrats are turning to a $3.5 trillion budget that will finance their liberal wish list but drastically shortchange our military once again.
“There is a clear and dangerous pattern here. The recklessness of the Democrats’ domestic spending spree is matched only by their neglect for America’s military. It must stop. For America to remain strong and prosperous, we must balance funding for the domestic and defense priorities of this nation,” stated Vice Chairman Shelby.
“A rushed bill outside of the legislative process is always going to be flawed, and this was no exception. It added too much that wasn’t real infrastructure – and left out genuine, needed military infrastructure across every state in this nation. Our amendment sought to right that imbalance, but Majority Leader Schumer was too worried it might pass, so he wouldn’t allow it to come for a vote. Between President Biden’s woefully inadequate budget request that we had to fix on a bipartisan basis in the NDAA and Senate Democrats’ new $3.5 trillion budget boondoggle that completely ignores national defense, it’s clear Democrats have no interest in addressing the very real threats coming from China and other adversaries, and protecting American families. We are going to continue to try to fix Democrats’ dangerous mistake,” said Ranking Member Inhofe.
“I am disappointed that we could not come to an agreement to provide resources for our national security infrastructure in this bipartisan infrastructure package,” Ranking Member Wicker said. “This bill will help improve our country’s road, bridges, ports, and broadband, but will do nothing for our national defense. me Our defense infrastructure has been crumbling for years, and once again Congress has failed to act. I will continue to fight alongside my colleagues to ensure the needs of our military are not ignored.”
The senators’ amendment would have created a Defense Infrastructure Fund containing $50.2 billion, including the following: $25.35 billion for shipyards; $4 billion for test and training ranges; $2 billion for high priority military construction projects; $1.5 billion for PFAS remediation; $4 billion for Facilities Sustainment, Restoration and Modernization; $3.85 billion for Department of Energy/National Nuclear Security Administration infrastructure; $4.5 billion for military depots; $2.5 billion for ammunition plants; and $2.5 billion for 5G rollout to military bases.