Issue Position: Protecting Our Homeland - Military Funding
I have always believed that our men and women in uniform desire the best training and equipment available, and have supported budgets that strive towards that goal. I was encouraged by the investments the most recent budget made in our soldiers by providing a significant pay raise, boosting the Base Housing Allowance, and increasing funding for the Defense Health Program so that it can provide expanded health care to military retirees and keep pace with the rising costs of medical inflation.
Our experience in Afghanistan and Iraq has highlighted the critical role that intelligence, special forces, and high-tech, precision weapons play in modern combat. On the battlefield, our military increasingly relies on weapons and equipment that harness the power of information technology. While their development and procurement is costly, they remain essential to achieving victory with fewer casualties for our soldiers and non-combatants.
While our on-going efforts to fight global terrorism and increase homeland security call for increased defense spending, we cannot lose sight of the need to cut wasteful programs and improve the Pentagon's business practices. I will continue to oppose efforts in Congress to force the Department of Defense to fund projects they do not need and do not want. Moreover, the Pentagon must improve its accounting and management practices to detect and eliminate fraud and waste. In a time of budget deficits, Congress must remain vigilant in ensuring every tax dollar is spent wisely.