Republicans Call for $12 Billion Indo-Pacific Boost Citing Threat from CCP

‘While deterrence may be hard, war is hell. We must enhance the Indo-Pacific supplemental request and treat the CCP threat with the gravity it deserves.’
Republicans Call for $12 Billion Indo-Pacific Boost Citing Threat from CCP
Chairman of the Select Committee on the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-Wis.), watches a video during a press conference unveiling the results of the Committee’s investigation into the biolab discovered in Reedley, Calif., in Washington on Nov. 15, 2023. (Madalina Vasiliu/The Epoch Times)
Savannah Hulsey Pointer

House Republicans sent a letter to congressional leadership on Nov. 19 calling President Joe Biden’s Indo-Pacific aid request “wholly inadequate” and arguing that Congress must match its funding priorities to the nation’s most pressing national security priority—deterring the growing threat from the Chinese Communist Party.

Select Committee on the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) Chairman Mike Gallagher (R-Wis.) sent a letter to House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.), Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.), Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), asking the leaders to approve an additional $12 billion for the aid request, in addition to the $2 billion President Biden has already requested for the project.

“The Indo-Pacific, our priority theater, must not be an afterthought,” Mr. Gallagher’s letter (pdf) states. “In order to safeguard peace in Asia and deter conflict on a scale we have not seen in generations, we must act before it is too late. For while deterrence may be hard, war is hell. We must enhance the Indo-Pacific supplemental request and treat the CCP threat with the gravity it deserves.”

They argue that the Indo-Pacific Strategy is crucial in light of what is a “‘decisive decade’ for the region.” Concerns highlighted include the CCP’s increasing aggression, such as unsafe intercepts of U.S. assets, harassment in the South China Sea, and intimidation of Taiwan. The letter stresses the need for comprehensive resources to counter CCP aggression, pointing out the inadequacy of the proposed supplemental funding.

A number of near-collisions between U.S. ships and aircraft and Philippine resupply ships in the South China Sea were, according to the lawmakers, “orchestrated” by Beijing in recent months. Additionally, the nation is bolstering its military and fortifying its relations with Moscow “at a warp speed.”

Legislators argued that an additional $10 billion is required not only to increase U.S. military presence in the region, but also to construct facilities and increase production of munitions for the Indo-Pacific Command.

Additionally, the signatories requested an additional $2 billion to replace U.S. military stockpiles of armaments that were shipped to Taiwan this year. They also requested that Congress grant President Biden authorization to transfer an additional $650 million for the same purpose, if necessary.

“Under [presidential drawdown authority], existing U.S. stocks of air defense systems, command-and-control equipment, gear for Taiwan’s reserve forces, land- and sea-based mines, and multiple launch rocket system vehicles could bolster Taiwan’s forces tomorrow,” the lawmaker wrote.

Specifically, the letter requests that congressional leaders expedite the delivery of “harpoon coastal defense cruise missile systems, mine-laying systems, air defense weapons, anti-armor systems, drone systems, and multiple launch rocket systems” to Taiwan and other Pacific allies, which they say will cost an additional $2 billion.

In addition to the committee chairman, the letter was signed by Reps. Rob Wittman (R-Va.), Darrin LaHood (R-Ill.), Neal Dunn (R-Fla.), Dusty Johnson (R-S.D.), Michelle Steel (R-Calif.) and Ashley Hinson (R-Iowa), who also gave their blessing to the request for $3.4 billion in investments in the submarine industrial base, which will aid in the implementation of the trilateral AUKUS treaty with Australia and the United Kingdom.

“Today, the world is witnessing the horrific consequences of conflict in Europe and the Middle East. Ensuring that Israel and Ukraine have the resources they need to defeat authoritarian aggression today is in our direct national security interests,” the lawmakers said in their letter. “Yet if we fail to provide the resources necessary to deter CCP aggression tomorrow, history will not forgive our inaction nor will it spare us the consequences.

“Future generations of Americans that live in a world that is less secure, less prosperous, and less free will look back at this moment and ask why we failed to act with urgency when [Chinese leader] Xi Jinping’s hostile intent and robust military capabilities were so clear.”

The Epoch Times has reached out to the letter’s recipients for comment.