Statement On The Inhofe/Shelby Amendment To S. 1260

. . . . The United States Innovation And Competition Act Of 2021

This amendment would mandate dollar-for-dollar parity between defense and non-defense programs, unless we had sixty votes to overcome a point of order.  It is not limited to discretionary spending on the FY 2022 appropriations bills, it applies to ALL federal spending.   

Providing a dollar to the Defense department for every dollar of non-defense spending is simply arbitrary, and would lead to absurd results.

Under this amendment, if we pass an infrastructure bill through reconciliation providing $2 trillion dollars to fix our roads and bridges and build out broadband, we would then have to provide $2 trillion dollars for defense, nearly tripling the defense budget – unless we had sixty votes to pass it without the defense dollars. 

If a hurricane hits the south or fires rage in the west and have to provide $10 billion dollars to help communities recover and rebuild, we would have to provide $10 billion for the Department of Defense.  

If we decide to increase funding for veterans, we would have to provide a dollar for dollar increase to the Department of Defense.  This is no way to operate. 

We can have a debate about the appropriate levels for defense and non-defense spending in Fiscal Year 2022, but we should not do it by creating arbitrary rules and we should not do it on this bill.

Members should vote no.