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Department of Defense and Full-Year Continuing Appropriations Act, 2011

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. YOUNG of Florida. Madam Speaker, today I will limit my comments to the Division A of this bill, which is basically the Defense Appropriations bill for fiscal year 2011. This is a bill that should have been passed last year, but for some strange reason, it didn't get passed. And I would tell you that as chairman of the Defense Subcommittee this year, I'm happy that it's going to become law under my watch. But it wouldn't be fair if I didn't point out that the bill basically is the one that we crafted together with Chairman Norman Dicks last year. And as I said, it should have been passed.

We have been functioning, our Defense Department and our national defense, on a continuing resolution since last year. That is not good. A CR is not good period. But a CR for national defense could become extremely serious. We were getting very close to the point of affecting readiness, of affecting our troops and of affecting our families. And so passing this bill into law today is something that we will do that is right, and hopefully it will go through the process and go to the President, everybody will keep their deal and sign off on the bill.

I compliment Speaker Boehner and his leadership team, and I compliment Chairman Rogers and his team. We looked at this bill very closely, and they asked me if we in the subcommittee could reduce some of the Defense spending in this bill. The answer is yes. We were diligent. We spent hours, days, and weeks making sure that we found sources of money that we really could eliminate without having a negative effect.

And I will say to my colleagues I would never support an appropriations bill or any other bill that will affect our readiness or that will affect our troops. I just won't do it. I can't do it. The defense of this Nation and our soldiers who provide the defense is too important. But when Chairman Rogers asked if we could go to this number, we were very careful. There is a reduction in the Defense bill in this bill. And for those of you who are concerned that it might have had an adverse effect on our Nation's defense, it will not.

We don't want to make very many more cuts in the Defense bill because today we don't know what the requirement is. There is discussion at the White House and with the Secretary of Defense, who almost seems to disagree now that there should be more cuts, more draconian cuts. You can't do that. You can't just pick out a number for Defense out of the air. You can't roll the dice. You can't spin the wheel. You've got to make your funding and your investment in national defense based on what is the threat to this country.


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