May 4, 2022
Washington, D.C. – U.S. Representative Mike Rogers (R-AL) and U.S. Senator Jim Inhofe (R-OK), Ranking Members of the House and Senate Armed Services Committee, today released the following statement after the Department of Defense responded to their March 17, 2022, letter. The letter requested detailed information on the effects of record inflation on the Department’s budget.
“We appreciate the Department of Defense response to our March 17, 2022, letter, which sought to give us a better understanding of how the Department considers the effects of inflation in its budget process. Even though we’re facing the worst inflation in 40 years under President Biden, it seems the Department of Defense has done little to address it.
“General Milley had it right when he told the House Armed Services Committee: the Department’s estimations are ‘obviously incorrect.’ Even using the Office of Management and Budget’s preferred metric for inflation (GDP chained price index), the fiscal year 2023 estimate is likely way off. The budget request revised 2022 inflation assumptions from 1.8 to 3.9 percent as measured by the GDP (chained) price index, but that metric is currently running at 6.4 percent though the first half of fiscal year 2022.
“Overall, we are concerned that the Department is not taking a proactive stance to mitigate the harmful effects of inflation. At the very least, they should be collecting necessary data, establishing a governance framework and conducting regular touchpoints with all stakeholders. In particular, it doesn’t seem that the Department has a good grasp on how inflation is hurting our service members and their families — and how this is in turn impacting recruiting and retention. Likewise, we are concerned that the Department does not have an adequate understanding of the challenges facing the industrial base.
“Remember: At the end of the day, getting the inflation number right is important, but it’s only part of the story. If we want to protect our country and meet national security needs, we need 3 to 5 percent real growth above inflation. We plan to accomplish this goal in this year’s NDAA.”
The full response from the Department of Defense can be read here. Rogers and Inhofe’s original letter can be read here.