Providing For Consideration Of H.R. 3326, Department Of Defense Appropriations Act, 2010
BREAK IN TRANSCRIPT
Mr. FRELINGHUYSEN. I thank the gentleman.
I rise in opposition to the rule but in support of the underlying Defense appropriations bill.
There is nothing more important than the safety and security of our Nation and our people. This underlying bill will provide our troops--volunteers--the resources and tools they need that will allow them to continue their heroic work to protect us and our interests around the world. Even though I oppose this restrictive rule--and it's a restrictive rule--I will support the bill. But I wish we could have found some way to meet and improve on the President's request for the Department of Defense.
This bill falls $3.5 billion short of even President Obama's treading water budget. The world did not become a safer place in January. The signs are everywhere. North Korea is threatening conventional and nuclear war. Russia is becoming more belligerent. China is rapidly expanding its naval forces, cybercapabilities, and its space ambitions. Iran is working overtime on missile and nuclear capabilities, and yes, there are disturbing signs occurring in Africa, horrendous acts of violence in the name of religion. And yet we're cutting missile defense, halting the Army's modernization program, known as the Future Combat Systems, and refiguring it, and failing to provide enough money for more Navy ships and fifth-generation Air Force fighters.
This treading water approach to national security is very shortsighted. Mr. Speaker, I support reform of our military acquisition process. I support Secretary Gates' program to reexamine our national security priorities in light of new irregular challenges and the threats that are proliferating well beyond Iraq and Afghanistan.
But I'm worried about our apparent obsession with this war-ism. Yes, we must focus our attention and resources and energy on Iraq and Afghanistan, but I urge my colleagues to make sure that we make enough investments today to ensure that we will be prepared to defend our interests against all threats in the years to come.
Mr. Speaker, our Defense Subcommittee once again has been a model for bipartisan compromise and cooperation in the interest of national security. I want to thank Mr. Murtha and my ranking member, Mr. Young, who spoke earlier, for their hard work and that of staff.
But I urge defeat of this restrictive rule.
BREAK IN TRANSCRIPT