Washington, DC – House Armed Services Committee Chairman Ike Skelton (D-MO) released the following statement on the FY 2010 federal budget outline President Obama sent to Congress today:

 “The President’s budget outline provides Congress with a preview of the administration’s budget proposal for the coming fiscal year.  While we will closely examine the President’s full budget proposal when it becomes available in the coming weeks, at first look I believe the $533.7 billion requested for defense is a reasonable level which will allow us to provide the resources needed to support our troops and keep America safe.
 “I am very pleased that the President’s budget outline includes funding to increase the size of the Army and Marine Corps.  Increasing the size of the force is essential to reduce the strain our service members are bearing as a result of our commitments in Iraq, Afghanistan, and other places around the world. 

 “The President’s decision to improve the transparency of Iraq and Afghanistan war funding requests is also a very positive development.  Along with many of my colleagues, I have called for the inclusion of predictable war costs in the regular budget request to ensure proper oversight of those expenses.  This budget is a step in the right direction and should lead to a substantial improvement in the way we fund this part of the Pentagon’s budget.

 “All Americans are aware of the serious economic challenges our country is experiencing.  Now more than ever, we have a responsibility to be good stewards of the public purse.  But our first responsibility is to keep the American people safe, and defense spending should match the level required to do that.”