WASHINGTON, DC - Tonight, Chairman Mac Thornberry (R-TX), of the House Armed Services Committee, made the following remarks on the recently introduced Omnibus Appropriations Package:
“For too long, Washington has asked our troops to do more with less, sending them into harm’s way without the training and equipment they need to defend themselves and the country. We have added mission after mission while we cut their funding again and again. Those decisions have brought consequences; experts say our troops are ‘outranged, outgunned, and outdated,’ ‘treading water,’ and that we are ‘stretching the force to the limit.’ Secretary Mattis is warning that ‘our competitive edge has eroded in every domain of warfare.’ We suffered four times as many deaths to accidents and training missions last year than we did to hostile fire. President Trump is right to insist on rebuilding our military, and this bill begins to do just that.
“A healthy economy and a robust military are mutually dependent. A vibrant and innovative economy funds our national defense and ensures that our technology stays ahead of our adversaries. A strong military protects the rules-based international order that has been the foundation of our economic growth since WWII. Unfortunately for too many years now, funding essential to a robust defense and a healthy economy has remained at an impasse based on political gamesmanship in which members of both parties share blame. Our troops have become collateral damage in this dangerous game of politics, consistently being held hostage to the political issue of the moment. That is a shameful practice that has to end.
“Congress’ work does not end when we write a check. In the months ahead, we will ensure that the military uses these funds to begin to rebuild quickly and efficiently. We will pursue reforms to the Department of Defense that preserve and enhance our fighting edge. We will continue to take a hard look at Pentagon bureaucracy as we prioritize rebuilding strength on the front line and cutting fat in the back office.”