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Public Statements

Department of Defense Appropriations Act, 2007

Location: Washington, DC



Mr. PAUL. Mr. Chairman, I rise in opposition to this legislation. This bill is unfortunately very short on real defense spending and very generous with spending enormous amounts on expensive military equipment that is ultimately of very little use to defend our country. This bill will not do much to help our military troops. In fact, it gives the troops a pay raise lower than civilian federal employees. It shortchanges them.

The bill is very generous with spending on grossly over-budget acquisition of military equipment of questionable value in our current times. Over the past 5 years, the Defense Department has doubled spending on new weapons systems from about $700 billion to nearly $1.4 trillion. However a recent Pentagon report found significant cost overruns--50 percent over original cost projections--in 36 major weapons systems. These programs benefit well-connected defense contractors, but they do not benefit the taxpayer and they do not benefit the soldiers who risk their lives.

The bill manages to spend hundreds of millions of dollars on foreign aid--$372 million to Russia, for example--and the failed drug war, but it fails to address the real problems of a military force that has been seriously stretched and challenged by an unprecedented level of sustained deployment overseas. I urge my colleagues to support a defense spending bill that really puts defense of the United States first.



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