Washington, D.C. – U.S. Representative Mike Rogers (R-AL), Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, delivered the following opening remarks at a hearing on the Department of the Army Fiscal Year 2024 budget request.
Chairman Rogers’ remarks as prepared for delivery:
Today we continue our FY24 budget hearings with the U.S. Army.
I thank our witnesses for being here and for their service to our nation.
General, this will likely be the last time you testify before our Committee.
I want to thank you again for your leadership and for your dedication to the men and women of the United States Army.
The Army is seeking $185.5 billion in fiscal year 2024.
That amounts to an increase of less than a two-tenths of one percent.
Given today’s record rate of inflation, the President’s budget effectively cuts the Army by over 5 percent.
The President’s budget cuts Army procurement, slashing combat vehicle acquisition by 16 percent and new aircraft by 22 percent.
It cuts overall Army research and development by 8 percent.
That includes a whopping 42 percent reduction in early-stage research and development projects that are critical to Army modernization efforts.
Finally, it guts military construction by 32 percent.
Most disturbingly, That includes a 26 percent cut to family housing.
It’s clear the Army is yet again the bill payer for the Pentagon.
Unless Congress acts, the Army will struggle to manage the risk these cuts present.
This will be especially hard deal with in the near term as the Army is the lead supplier of drawdown assistance to Ukraine.
Making matters worse is the fact that the Army is struggling with a historic recruiting crisis.
The Army missed their recruiting goal by over 15,000 soldiers last year.
All the signs point to the Service being unable to meet their recruiting goals again this year.
We need to understand what actions our witnesses are taking to overcome this crisis.
This committee stands ready to change laws and eliminate misguided DoD policies that act as barriers to men and women interested in a career in the Armed Services.
If we’re going to deter China, we need to recruit the best and brightest.
We need to provide them the training, skills, and capabilities necessary to succeed on future battlefields.
And we need to improve their quality of life to ensure we retain them in today’s competitive employment market.
I look forward to working with my colleagues on these priorities.