If Congress passes another coronavirus response package, it should include additional defense spending, a group of Republican lawmakers said.

“As in any crisis, the American people have turned to the military to help protect the country, and the military has responded admirably,” the lawmakers said in a joint statement. “As our men and women in uniform have faced this crisis, the defense industrial base workforce — from businesses large and small — stood with them, a critical ally in this fight. Those businesses, and the hundreds of thousands of jobs they represent, need support from the next relief bill as much as any other sector of the economy.”

The statement was released by Senate Armed Services Committee Chair Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), House Armed Services Committee ranking member Mac Thornberry (R-Texas), House Appropriations Committee ranking member Kay Granger (R-Texas), and the top Republican on the House defense appropriations subcommittee, Ken Calvert (R-Calif.).

“The Department of Defense cannot afford to incur over twenty billion dollars in unfunded coronavirus impacts without damaging their hard-fought readiness gains and combat capability,” they wrote. “It would be wrong to ask them to.”

DOD photo by EJ Hersom