DAYTON, OHIO — Ohio Congressmen Mike Turner and Brad Wenstrup joined House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy for a tour of the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base on Friday.
The trio visited the base after raising concerns over President Joe Biden’s new defense spending proposal.
The trio of Republicans, who are privy to House Intelligence reports, said Biden‘s defense budget not only does not keep up with the cost of inflation but also does not do enough to prepare the US against adversaries like China and Russia.
"If we're prepared in our military, we'll never have to go to war. That's the key," said McCarthy, (R, CA-23).
Flanked by Turner, (R-OH-10), and Wenstrup, (R, OH-02), McCarthy slammed Biden and the $715 billion price tag currently attached to the defense budget proposal.
“I don’t think it’s a time that you want to decrease our capabilities. I think it's a time you want to invest greater, especially in research and development," McCarthy said.
McCarthy's remarks came after he, Turner and Wenstrup toured Wright-Patterson Air Force Base Friday morning, the largest single-site employer in Ohio, employing 32,000 workers.
Wright-Patt is crucial not just to Ohio's economy but the nation's defense.
So with R&D and future weapons being top priorities in Biden's spending plan, Turner acknowledged it could bode well for the base.
"However, today's presentation was on what our adversaries are doing and that's actual systems and system development deployment and we need to be prepared to do that and this time that budget falls short," Turner said.
Ohio Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown disagrees.
He said the budget is “well-balanced” between military and domestic spending.
“I know how important military spending is to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base and to Lima and I don’t take a back seat to anybody in fighting for those communities and fighting for those military installations, but we have domestic needs too,” Brown said.
The president's proposal is an increase of $10 billion from the previous fiscal year.
Despite the U.S. leading the world in defense spending and the uptick in the president's budget, Turner said the budget needs to spend five to 10% more over inflation.