Washington, DC – House Armed Services Committee Chairman Ike Skelton (D-MO) expressed his support for the Fiscal Year 2009 Budget Resolution and praised the House Budget Committee’s commitment to meeting the needs of our national defense. 

 “I am pleased to support the Fiscal Year 2009 House Budget Resolution, which provides $537.8 billion for national defense.  This funding level reflects both the President’s request and the recommendation of the House Armed Services Committee. 

 The House Budget Resolution prioritizes resources to restore military readiness that has been worn down by repeated deployments and more than six years of war.  Especially important are the Budget Resolution’s instructions that take care of people by rejecting TRICARE fee increases, providing funding to continue addressing problems such as those identified at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, and calling for enhanced pay and benefits to improve the quality of life of our troops and their families. 

 Although the law requires the President to submit a detailed budget request for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and an estimate of the expected full year costs of those operations, this year the President sent a $70 billion placeholder and a promise to update the request later in the year.  I am extremely disappointed by this decision by the Administration, not only because the law’s requirements were only partially met, but because it prevents Congress from doing the best job it can to provide for the nation’s defense needs.  After all of this time, we should not be using emergency spending legislation to pay for predictable war costs,” said Skelton.