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WASHINGTON – Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) today joined Sen. Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska) and more than 20 other senators in urging President Biden to boost defense spending and reverse his anti-energy policies so the U.S. would be better positioned to compete against Russia and China. The letter comes ahead of Biden’s State of the Union address, which the president will deliver tonight.

“. . . as our nation prepares for this new era of authoritarian aggression led by the dictators in Russia and China, we have serious concerns that we encourage you to address in tonight’s State of the Union and thereafter act upon immediately,” the senators wrote.

“First, you must submit a robust military budget that significantly increases defense spending to reflect the realities of our geostrategic competition with China and Russia. Your Fiscal Year (FY) 2022 budget proposed significant real cuts to the Department of Defense when, at the same time, you proposed massive increases to almost every other federal agency and department. Putin and Xi were undoubtedly encouraged that the President of the United States proposed significant budget cuts to his own armed services,” the senators continued.

“Second, your Administration’s energy policies—which focus on restricting, delaying, and killing the production of American energy—have had the predictable but catastrophic effect of driving up energy prices for American working families, increasing pinks slips for American energy workers, and significantly empowering our adversaries, especially Putin, who has used energy as a weapon for decades,” continued the senators.

The senators pointed out that the Biden administration has worked to disarm America’s energy sector and expressed hope that Biden will make a course correction in his State of the Union address. They encouraged the president to take several actions to reverse his anti-energy policies, protect America’s national security and support American allies, including:

  • Rescind the decision to cancel the Keystone XL Pipeline.

  • Commit to fast-tracking and producing American energy on federal lands.

  • Direct the Department of the Interior to finalize a new five-year offshore lease plan by June 30, 2022.

  • Sanction Russian oil and gas exports to America and U.S. allies.

  • Issue all pending export licenses and announce an initiative to surge American liquefied natural gas exports to America’s allies and partners in Europe who are dependent on Russian energy.

“The American people are looking to their President to rise to this critical moment. Our national security, global stability for ourselves and our allies, as well as the prosperity of every American family are on the line,” concluded the senators.

The letter is available here.