Chairwoman Granger: DOD Budget Request Insufficient to Repair Years of Damage
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Rep. Kay Granger (R-Texas), chairwoman of the House Defense Appropriations panel, today said President Trump's budget request for the Pentagon falls short of what's needed to ensure military readiness and said mandatory spending caps imposed by the Budget Control Act of 2011 must be removed.
"After extensive conversations with our military leaders, I am concerned that the FY18 defense budget request is not enough to address the shortfalls and damage caused by years of underfunding," Granger said in opening remarks at the subcommittee's hearing on the Department of Defense’s fiscal year 2018 budget request. "The budget caps have exacerbated the problem and must be repealed."
The president's budget proposal calls for spending $603 billion on national defense over the next decade. Granger has said that number is probably where the appropriations committee would end up given divisions over defense vs. non-defense spending. on Thursday, though, she made clear that she does not think the president's request is equal to the need.
“For many years, the military leadership has said they would get the mission done no matter the level of funding they received. This is no longer possible and it is our job to make sure our military has what it needs to face the many threats to our nation," Granger said. "While the president's proposal represents a down payment on our national security, we must do better."
Granger said it will take several years of increased funding to undo the cumulative effect of sequestration, budget uncertainty, and continuing resolutions have had on the military, and she urged her colleagues on the appropriations committee to take the challenge seriously.
“All federal dollars are not the same," she said. "During a time when we face threats from Russia, China, North Korea, ISIS, and other terrorist groups, we must prioritize our defense funding first."
“It is my hope that we can find a bipartisan common ground to give our military the robust support that our service chiefs and combatant commanders tell us they desperately need." Granger said. "But as chair of defense appropriations, I will base my budget decisions on our national security needs – not the other way around."
"Our adversaries are rapidly advancing their tactics and their capabilities. The defense appropriations bill must ensure our capabilities remain more advanced and more lethal than our adversaries. The last thing we want to give our enemies is a 'fair' fight."