Quietly, almost stealthily, Washington is in full wheeler-dealer mode for the next month. The ability for the United States to win a major war may well hang in the balance. Nearly everyone in the know is eyeballing one bill with the intensity of a construction crew watching Sydney Sweeney stroll by.

In today’s DC, just one annual piece of legislation continues to move through Congress like “I’m Just a Bill” from “Schoolhouse Rock.” The National Defense Authorization Act passes each year with wide bipartisan support, winding through the House and Senate to the president’s desk.

The NDAA, as it is commonly called, directs nearly every aspect of our military and sets the budget target for the following year. That dollar target then must be funded by an appropriations bill (which may or may not pass—this year, the $883.7 billion Defense budget for 2024 wasn’t passed until March 23rd).

President Biden kicked off the discussion for 2025 by presenting the weakest presidential budget request in living memory. Our commander-in-chief asked Congress for $849.8 billion. Considering inflation is galloping along at 3.5 percent, the president’s request represents a $64 billion cut to America’s armed forces.

Even in Washington, $64 billion is a lot of money. That’s enough to build five new aircraft carriers or finance ten Space X enterprises to reestablish the United States’ dominance in space.

Worse, Biden’s Pentagon coven aims to boost spending on defense line items such as childcare, medical research, and “climate resilience,” while cutting R&D, procurement, and operations budgets.  Biden seeks to fund the softer side of the Department of Defense while cutting the arms and force in our armed forces.

As with Biden’s three other budget requests, this one was deader on arrival than an insurgent at a Marine Corps Birthday Ball.

The House is taking the first stab, and the House Armed Services Committee published its “chairman’s mark” (read: first draft) of the NDAA on Monday. Alabama Republican Rep. Mike Rogers led the charge as chairman, staking out a new top line of $895.1 billion.

This still represents a cut, as to just keep up with Biden’s rampant inflation figures, the top line would need to approach $914.6 billion. Rogers’ hands are zip-tied here by the Fiscal Reduction Act of 2023, which whacked approximately $40 billion out of this year’s defense budget and limits next year’s defense top line to $895.2 billion.

Friends in the House tell me that committee staff have “done the best they can moving around approximately $15 billion” but inflation, the fiscal reduction cap, and Biden’s costly left-wing policies will put the squeeze on the remaining dough.

At the same time, the Biden administration is blowing through critical American stockpiles of ammunition. The U.S. is at risk of going Winchesteras square-jawed folks like to say, on a range of hugely expensive weapons systems: Stinger missiles, Javelin missiles, Tomahawk missiles, .155 rounds, and Army Tactical Missile Systems.

While the U.S. is expending reserve munitions like a chain smoker walking into a Crazy Bills Fireworks, our main adversary, China, is stocking up. China raised its defense budget 7.2 percent last year. Given the real Chinese defense budget is $700 billion (when taking into account the purchasing power in China vs. the U.S.), another four years of Bidenomics would put the Chinese military ahead of the U.S.

Chairman Rogers put it bleakly: “Without supplemental funding to replace the weapons we’re providing and expand the industrial base, the Army will be hard pressed to meet operational requirements in the event of a conflict with China.”

In other words: if we don’t balance our accounts, the U.S. in jeopardy of losing a major war.

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