WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Congresswoman Kay Granger (R-Texas), chairwoman of the House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, today delivered the following statement on the House floor in support of the Fiscal Year 2018 defense appropriations bill:
"Today we consider the 'Make America Secure Appropriations Act,' which includes the defense appropriations bill for Fiscal Year 2018. I ask all members for their support on this very important legislation.
"Congress’s number one responsibility is to provide for the defense of this nation. It is this bill that fulfills that most fundamental constitutional duty.
"This is urgent because the world is more dangerous and unstable than any time in recent history.
"North Korea is increasing the frequency of their missile tests, threatening American soil and our allies. On the Fourth of July, they launched an intercontinental ballistic missile.
"Russia continues to create instability in the Ukraine, the Baltics, and the Balkans. They recklessly support and protect President Assad, the tyrant who has murdered thousands of Syrian men, women, and children. These actions hinder our fight against ISIS.
"China is militarizing the South China Sea and modernizing their military at an alarming pace. Just this week, Chinese fighter jets flew close to a U.S. Navy reconnaissance aircraft in an aggressive and dangerous manner.
"Iran is increasing their influence in Iraq, Syria, and Yemen and they remain hostile. Just yesterday, an Iranian vessel pursued a U.S. Navy ship at high speed in the Persian Gulf forcing our ship to fire warning shots to halt the aggression.
"Meanwhile, ISIS and al-Qaeda terrorists continue to spread their perverted version of Islam across Europe, Africa, Asia, and the Middle East.
"All of our adversaries are acting in an aggressive and emboldened manner. We must ensure that the U.S. military is prepared to confront anyone who threatens us. This can only be done by reversing the years of budget instability, sequestration, and continuous cuts.
"Since becoming chair, I have made it my priority to listen first and foremost to our defense and intelligence experts, and this bill before you reflects their expert advice.
"This bill provides Secretary of Defense Mattis the resources he needs to rebuild our military and form a new national defense strategy.
"It has been an honor to work with my ranking member, Mr. Visclosky, who has played a valuable role in this process.
"I want to thank Chairman Frelinghuysen, Ranking Member Lowey, and all the members of the Defense Subcommittee for their involvement and contributions.
"I would like to thank the staff of the Defense Subcommittee: Jennifer Miller, Sherry Young, Walter Hearne, Brooke Boyer, B.G. Wright, Adrienne Ramsay, Allison Deters, Cornell Teague, Collin Lee, and Matt Bower. As well as Rebecca Leggieri, Jennifer Chartrand, and Chris Bigelow on the minority staff.
"From the personal staff: Johnnie Kaberle, Jason Schenck, Joe DeVooght, Adam Kahnke.
"In closing, I must remind the House that Secretary Mattis told us that, 'Without sustained, sufficient, and predictable funding, I assess that within five years we will lose our ability to project power, the basis of how we defend the homeland, advance U.S. interests, and meet our alliance commitments.'
"To ensure this does not happen, the bill includes $28.6 billion, above the president’s request, for a national defense restoration fund. We must keep this funding intact.
"We need to heed Secretary Mattis’s warning and give our military what it needs – no less. This is not a partisan issue. Again, I ask all my colleagues for their support."
Video of Congresswoman Granger's floor speech is available here.
For more information about Congresswoman Granger and her work as Chair of the House Appropriations Defense Subcommittee please visit kaygranger.house.gov.