The Constitution gives the federal government no greater role than the defense of the American people. I strongly support a vigorous national defense that provides our Armed Forces with the resources necessary to protect against threats to our national security.
I am deeply proud of our men and women in uniform who are currently serving around the world to protect the freedom of the United States. They and their families deserve our thanks and admiration for all they have sacrificed in service of our country. As a member of the U.S. Senate, I intend to do everything in my power to ensure they have everything they need to complete their duties.
While I will always be an advocate for the needs of our military personnel, I will continue to aggressively root out waste, fraud, and abuse at the Pentagon. According to independent watchdog agencies such as the Government Accountability Office (GAO), the Department of Defense Inspector General, and other independent groups, the Pentagon wastes at least $50 billion a year. This wasted money could be used to provide better equipment for our soldiers or improved benefits for veterans wounded by war. Instead of working to eliminate this fraud, waste, and abuse, members of Congress focus on the how many "earmarks' they can include in the annual defense bills.
With our mounting national debt, I have been concerned with the cost of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and I do not believe these wars should not continue to be funded through "emergency" supplemental appropriation bills. Emergency appropriation bills are intended for unexpected costs, such as the immediate aftermath of the September 11 attacks.
Until this change is made, each supplemental -- totaling hundreds of billions of dollars to date -- is added directly onto our national debt. American families are forced to prioritize their spending decisions when resources are limited, but Congress believes it does not have to make the same tough choices. Instead, Congress opts to "pull out the credit card" and borrow the money for conflicts such as Iraq and Afghanistan.
The ability of America to defend itself in the future will depend on how well we can keep our fiscal house in order at home. As long as America's fiscal position is weakened, our enemies will be emboldened and the federal government in turn will not have the resources essential to the defense of the homeland. We must bring fiscal sanity to Congress in part so our nation can maintain the strongest national defense possible.