- The Washington Times - Friday, October 2, 2020

Democrats and Republicans are likely to face off in a contentious battle over the 2021 defense budget if Joseph R. Biden wins the presidency, House Armed Services Committee chairman Adam Smith, Washington state Democrat, predicted.

During a virtual event hosted by the Association of Defense Communities Thursday, Mr. Smith said that should the democratic candidate take the White House it will lead some progressive Democrats to fight for slashes to the massive $740 billion budget.

“There will be a fight, no question,” Mr. Smith said.

“There will be those Democrats who want to substantially cut the defense budget,” he continued. “I don’t believe it is the majority of my party, and I know it is not the position of the Biden-Harris ticket.”

During the last round of negotiations for the annual defense policy bill, progressives rallied around an amendment that proposed cutting 10% from the existing budget. It ultimately failed after it saw opposition from both Republicans and moderate Democrats.

Despite Republican claims that a Biden administration would make sweeping cuts to defense funding, the former vice president has repeatedly expressed opposition to making such cuts.

Mr. Smith acknowledged Mr. Biden’s insistence that he would maintain similar defense funding levels and said the Democratic nominee “has stated unequivocally that he does not envision cuts in the defense budget.

“If you listen to our colleagues, we’ll get the locusts and the frogs and the floods,” Mr. Smith quipped, “and when Democrats take over, the world as we know it will cease to exist.”

• Lauren Toms can be reached at lmeier@washingtontimes.com.

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