Senate Republicans are saying that both President Biden and Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) need to agree for defense spending cuts to be off the table during their negotiations about the debt ceiling being lifted.
Republicans have maintained that any increase in the debt ceiling needed to be accompanied by spending cuts. However, following the classified briefing on the Chinese spy balloon that had flown across the U.S. and over sensitive military installations, many of them are saying that there should be no spending cuts in defense.
Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) has said that everyone recognized that communist China was the “greatest threat” the country has ever had to combat “because of its economic integration into the West.” He added following the briefing about the spy balloon that the U.S. needed to reduce the “dependency on China” as well as to “build stronger military deterrence.”
He added that currently, they should not be discussing spending cuts for the military, but rather spending increases.
The balloon controversy has ended up being a key point why many Republicans are wanting to avoid spending cuts if possible.
Senate Republican Whip John Thune (R-S.D.) also pointed out the importance of having strong national security that would help deter “bad behavior.” He added that while it was okay to look for ways to make spending more efficient, they should not be aiming to cut defense spending.