Senator Richard Shelby, R-Alabama, expressed concern Tuesday about the fiscal year 2023 funding request and budget justification for the Department of the Army during a defense appropriations subcommittee hearing.
“I have to say, I am concerned by the Army’s request,” Shelby said. “With inflation at the highest levels we’ve seen in 40 years, this request represents a cut from 2022 enacted levels. The Army is four years into a once-in-a-generation modernization of its force structure that will shape the nation’s ground forces for decades to come. As you rightly note in your written statement, modernization is future readiness.
“Yet, the Army’s unfunded list contains several billion dollars’ worth of self-assessed high-risk modernization requirements, seemingly left out of the budget because of an inadequate topline. The Army must also be sufficiently resourced to fight and win in today’s increasingly complex security environment.
“As we meet today, we are witnessing the most significant ground war in Europe since World War II, with Ukraine heroically repelling Putin’s misguided and poorly executed invasion. The Army is playing a key role by rapidly deploying thousands of soldiers to reassure our NATO allies and support Ukraine.
“We also need a strong Army to deter China and respond to provocations by Iran, North Korea, and radical extremist groups. To date, the Army has risen to these challenges thanks to consistent and sufficient investments in people, readiness, and modernization.”