House Armed Services Committee Democrats will offer two amendments at today's markup designed to slash wasteful funding and increase funding for National Guard and Reserve equipment. The amendments, offered by Reps. Loretta Sanchez and Cooper, would provide nearly $164 million in additional funding to support the National Guard and Reserves. The funding would be redirected from programs that have a history of underperforming or the military has said it does not need.
"Funding for National Guard and Reserve Equipment is critical to defend our homeland," said Loretta Sanchez, the Ranking Member on the House Armed Services Committee Subcommittee on Strategic Forces. "As we have seen with the recent devastating storms and flooding across the country, States must have the ability to respond to natural disasters or terrorist attacks at home. In order to maintain this ability, we must support our National Guard and Reserve forces and provide them with the funding to recruit new members and replenish equipment shipped to Iraq and Afghanistan."
"While funding for the Ground Missile Defense system is important, the amount of money we have thus far allocated to Missile Defense in the President's budget request is adequate," continued Sanchez. The Missile Defense Agency has clearly stated that they do not need this additional $100 million in funding. Let's instead put this money where it's needed and give the National Guard the resources required for them to effectively respond to domestic emergencies."
"The F-35B Joint Strike Fighter has a long history of delays and development problems, and was recently put on "probation' by Secretary of Defense Robert Gates," said Congressman Jim Cooper. "My amendment cuts just two out of thirty-two F-35 aircraft requested in 2012 and moves the funding to support critical National Guard and Reserve equipment needs."
Amendment 227 (Rep. Sanchez) -- The Sanchez amendment would allocate an additional $100 million for the National Guard, taken from proposed funding for the Ground Missile Defense system, which the Missile Defense Agency has clearly stated it does not need.
Amendment 164 (Rep. Cooper) -- The Cooper amendment moves funding from the F-35B, a troubled program with a history of testing problems, to fund a Navy unfunded requirement for Aircraft spare parts for $317 million, with the remaining $63.6 million going to the National Guard and Reserve Equipment account.