(CNS News) – As the Senate deliberates over the record-breaking $857.9-billion National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) this week, Sen. Mike Braun (R-Ind.) said that both parties often engage in a “spending frenzy” with defense and that “it all needs to be reduced until we get the budget back in order.”
At the Capitol on Dec. 14, CNS News asked Braun, “Given the need to reduce spending, do you think that Congress should work to make next year’s defense budget smaller than this year’s?”
Braun replied, “So, I’m a believer when it comes to spending, in general, that if we’re ever going to get it under control, it’s got to be across the board. I think defense is the most important thing we do here, but I don’t hold it sacrosanct.”
“I think it recently tried to find out where its $3.5 trillion worth of assets were -- They could only find about 40% of it,” said Braun, referencing a November audit in which the Department of Defense could not account for 61% of its $3.5 trillion in assets.
“And I do think that’s how we get rolled as Republicans, when we want all of ours to go up, and any kind of frugality to occur on the other side of the aisle,” he said.
“This is an equal opportunity spending frenzy, and it all needs to be reduced until we get the budget back in order,” the senator concluded.
Last Thursday in the House, only 35 Republicans and 45 Democrats voted “no” on the proposed defense budget, while the majorities of both parties supported the measure.
As CNS News has reported, the NDAA for fiscal year 2023 passed through the House on Dec. 8 by a vote of 350-80 and is expected to pass through the Senate sometime this week.
The 4,312-page bill sets the national defense budget for fiscal year 2023 at $857.9 billion, making it the largest defense budget in U.S. history.
The final bill surpassed President Joe Biden’s requested defense budget by $45 billion.