March 2nd, 2014
04:06 PM ET
10 months ago

Sen. Lindsey Graham: Obama budget 'guts our defense'

(CNN) – Sen. Lindsey Graham said the Obama administration's proposed budget "guts our defense" and ignores the need for military preparation for future conflicts.

The South Carolina Republican told CNN's Candy Crowley Sunday that if the United States were to need to take immediate military action in an international conflict, that situation would drain defense resources.

Graham said on “State of the Union” that "440,000 members of the United States army is a gutted army. We do have a lot of technology available to our troops. Every soldier goes into battle with an array of technology and equipment not possessed in World War II. But you still need trigger pullers."

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel unveiled last week the Defense Department's spending plan for 2015 and beyond. The budget calls for shrinking the Army to pre-World War II levels, a scaling-back, he said, that "recognizes the reality of the magnitude of our fiscal challenges."

"For the first time in 13 years, we will be presenting a budget to the Congress of the United States that's not a war-footing budget," Hagel said. "That's a defining budget because it starts to reset and reshape."

Graham, a two-term senator who is facing a tough primary challenge, has been highly critical of President Barack Obama's administration, particularly on the foreign-policy front.

"This budget by President Obama guts our defense. It is the smallest army since 1940, the smallest Navy since 1915 and the smallest air force in modern history," he said.

Graham said if the United States needed to step in to stop an escalation of Iran's nuclear program, the military would have to use every B-2 and F-22 aircraft available.

"So if you're going to modernize your military for future conflicts, this budget will not allow you to do it. And the idea you're going to make - you taking off what kind of wars you're going to fight assumes the enemies of our nation will agree with you."

Dick Durbin, the Senate's second-ranking Democrat, said the budget reflects the changing environment for international conflicts, defending the Defense Department's proposed scaled-back military as a realistic necessity in the modern era.

"I have great confidence of the men and women in the military and our technology to continue to meet that challenge. But we have to acknowledge the obvious,” Durbin, of Illinois, said on CNN. "If we are going to reduce our debt for future generations, we are going to have to cut spending on the defense and non-defense sides."

Watch State of the Union with Candy Crowley Sundays at 9am ET. For the latest from State of the Union click here.

soundoff (48 Responses)
  1. rs

    Ever hear of the GOP's SequestrationMr. Graham?

    March 2, 2014 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  2. ThinkAgain - If you want Congress to actually do something FOR the American people, vote OUT the repub/tea bag majority

    Miss Lindsay, that would be Hagel's budget, based on recommendations from the military itself.

    March 2, 2014 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  3. Tony

    Congress writes the actual budget. The president's budget is a recommendation. Does the actual budget gut our defense?

    March 2, 2014 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  4. Fire the GOP

    Ummm.....you kept asking to cut spending you TEA Party idiot. Obama gives you what you want and you're still whining???

    March 2, 2014 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  5. Tampa Tim

    Spending more on military than the next 13 counties combined is "gutting our defense?" What a lying brain dead wingnut Lindsay has become.

    March 2, 2014 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  6. TEA Party Patriot

    Fine by me. That is why we need for remove these establishment Republicans out of office. They just don't get it....we are TAXED ENOUGH ALREADY!

    March 2, 2014 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  7. Pk duster

    When we are out of af we will have millions of dollars more to get more military if we need it

    March 2, 2014 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  8. Humbrrto

    Regardless what a Jim Crow Politician from Carolina says it doesn't change the Ukrainian mob didn't abide by any law and burned retreating Ukraine policemen as they wiled for money.

    March 2, 2014 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  9. Name jk. Sfl. GOP CRUZ lee&rubio 24billion dallar LOSS of your tax money conservatives,the garbage of America.

    Well THANKS GOP for YOUR COST CUTTING, BLAME THE GOP and your STILL DOING IT ??????????

    March 2, 2014 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  10. GOP = Greed Over People

    Detailing actual troop numbers in an international forum?

    Doesn't that jeopardize the very troops, she professes to care about?

    Seems to me, that could be "aiding and abetting the enemy".

    Not normally an alarmist, but a case could be made for sedition(since a speech can be an act of sedition) if not treason against this blob of protoplasm.

    Time better spent on a national scale would be to get off TV, invite what's her face to thaw out in the Carolina's, and have a Mary Kay party, in the interest of national security!

    March 2, 2014 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  11. Name jk. Sfl. GOP CRUZ lee&rubio 24billion dallar LOSS of your tax money conservatives,the garbage of America.

    Ya Lindsey , bUT YOUR GOP WONT even pay for the veterans benefits YOU ALREADY OWE????????

    March 2, 2014 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  12. Name jk. Sfl. GOP CRUZ lee&rubio 24billion dallar LOSS of your tax money conservatives,the garbage of America.

    Everything's obamas fault , right Lindsey . It doesn't matter that the GOP CUT all the FUNDS, right GOP ????????

    March 2, 2014 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  13. J anthony

    The last honorable Republican president was Dwight Eisenhower. He warnedthe country in 1960 about an out-of-control military-industrial-complex. He was ignored. The time to heed his wise words are 54 years overdue.

    March 2, 2014 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  14. America1st

    Seriously? The GOP raided the defense budget to claim a tea party victory in the budget battles. THEY own the defense cuts, no one else.

    March 2, 2014 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  15. GoodVaGuy

    I am sick of US politucians like Graham. Too bad their all slime.

    March 2, 2014 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  16. rburnett2861

    Where was this Albatross when GW Bush spent money on two wars.? All the GOP ever do is complain, but have no solutions. We the people should do the complaining, since they are robbing us blind. They collect their paychecks and do even work for it. They just show up and think they deserve it. The "Den of Thieves" is all they are.

    March 2, 2014 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  17. texasnotea

    It's time for America to get out of the war business and get into taking care of America business. This just exposes the tea party as liars and frauds instead of patriots as they claim.

    March 2, 2014 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  18. Jet1

    Trying to standup to Putin and at the same time cutting back the defense does not make for a very stance against Russian aggression....

    March 2, 2014 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  19. Ames Tiedeman

    $682 billion a year and increasing next year is a gut? We spend more than the next 15 countries combined!

    March 2, 2014 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  20. FidyCents

    The progressive hillbillies in the Democrat party loath the US Military this is clear. Now look at what Obama wants to do in the Ukraine, and for what?

    March 2, 2014 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  21. tom l

    We can all breathe a sign of relief and calm down. The contractors were not cut. Their budgets remain relatively intact! Yay!! At least those dems aren't beholden to the military industrial complex. Or, or , or actually they are just as much in it as the repubs....

    March 2, 2014 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  22. virgillionaire

    Waah,, waah,, democrats bad, republicans good. No need to even bother reading what he had to say at this point.

    March 2, 2014 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  23. NameMWP79

    I'm afraid obama has destroyed our nation.

    March 2, 2014 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  24. NameMWP79

    Once our military is depleted our enemies will have their chance to strike. We talk about the future of our nation,what future will there be if we are overrun by the ones that seek to destroy us? Fools are what you are if you support the destruction of our military. Stupid idea.

    March 2, 2014 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  25. Me

    The amount of money we spend for nothing ( interest on the debt ) is money we don't have. In 2013, that was 415 billion dollars and it is getting worse.

    March 2, 2014 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
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