The Democrats have an idea to counter China, and it reportedly hinders the U.S. military.
According to The Washington Free Beacon:
Senate Democrats have billed the Strategic Competition Act as a “comprehensive” check on Chinese aggression, but the legislation fails to deliver on the national security funding necessary to realize its goals, according to former defense officials and Republican critics.
The $7.7 billion spending proposal will pay for dozens of studies of China’s tactics to gain diplomatic and technological influence worldwide, but it offers little in terms of American national defense. The lion’s share of cash in the bill helps promote global press freedom and increases foreign aid. And its defense-related funding focuses on training, arms sales, and cooperation with allies, with little focus on improving the size and readiness of the U.S. military. Instead, the legislation offers $10 million to build democratic institutions in Hong Kong and millions of dollars dedicated to reforming U.S. engagement at the United Nations to counter China, among many other soft-power initiatives.
Members of the House Armed Services Committee argue Senate Democrats are asking the Defense Department to do more with less. The legislation’s funding is enough to close the $7 billion funding gap between the 2021 defense budget and the shrinking 2022 budget after inflation. But Rep. Rob Wittman (R., Va.) said the demands for a modern fighting force will not be realized if Democrats do not increase the defense budget.
Sen. Bob Menendez (D., N.J.) is spearheading the legislation, which calls for increased technology research, more diplomatic checks on Beijing, as well as larger troop deployments in the region. The majority of the bill’s funding, however, is directed to initiatives outside of the Department of Defense. Menendez, who did not return requests for comment, said he hopes the package will begin a “cascade” of activity to confront the Chinese Communist Party, and that his bill meets the China challenge on every front, including militarily.
Experts from the Trump administration have called the bill an unfunded mandate/