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Public Statements

Department of Defense Appropriations Act, 2012

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. BROUN of Georgia. Mr. Chairman, my amendment would reduce the operating budget of the Office of the Defense Secretary by 10 percent, moving roughly $217 million to the spending reduction account.

I have spent a considerable amount of time here on the floor of the House during this appropriations process working hard to find spending cuts across every level of the Federal Government and across nearly every agency.

The Office of the Secretary has roughly $2.1 billion included in this bill for its operation for this fiscal year, which is four times the combined operating budget of the Secretaries in our three previous fiscal year 12 appropriations bills.

I understand the challenges that the Secretary of Defense faces on a daily basis and the enormity of the department he is tasked with overseeing, but even the Department of Defense must do its part to reduce the deficit. I urge support of this amendment.

Mr. Chairman, I yield back the balance of my time.

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Mr. BROUN of Georgia. I appreciate the gentleman yielding. Actually, this just cuts the money, 10 percent, out of the Office of the Secretary of Defense. It doesn't go into cutting Special Ops or other funds that the gentleman from Washington, my good friend, Mr. Dicks, was talking about. It just cuts 10 percent out of the Secretary's operating budget.

I just wanted to clear that up. I thank the gentleman for yielding.

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Mr. BROUN of Georgia. Mr. Chairman, I am a physician, and I represent Fort Gordon, Georgia. We have a tremendous amount of soldiers as well as vets from the Vietnam area with post-traumatic stress disorder. I am also in the Navy reserve. I was seeing patients earlier today, and I saw a lady who was a sailor, who was an intelligence sailor in Afghanistan. She is suffering from PTSD and all the problems associated with that.

At Fort Gordon, Georgia, we are trying to expand the facilities there to treat PTSD, to do the research and development--that's a teaching hospital as well as a hospital that cares for soldiers. So I applaud my friend from Houston's amendment here. It is certainly an extremely important issue that we are going to face. We are going to face this issue for the next five, six, seven decades as a Nation. We cannot put as much emphasis as this issue is going to demand over the next few decades even. So it's actually an extremely important amendment. I congratulate Ms. Jackson Lee on this amendment, and I rise in support of the amendment.

Mr. Chairman, I yield back the balance of my time.

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Mr. BROUN of Georgia. This amendment eliminates both the Environmental Quality Technology Research account and the management support set to accompany that research under the Department of Army, sending $25.7 million to the spending reduction account.

Much of the research conducted by the Army is of merit and deserves the funding provided. Without some of these research programs, we would not have many of the technologies that protect our servicemembers and make them more effective soldiers. However, I do not see the need for the Army to conduct research on technologies pertaining to environmental quality. This type of research would be best conducted in the university or in the private sector.

Asking the Army to research something that does not directly coincide with their direct mission is imprudent, and these funds would be better used in reducing the burden of debt on our Nation.

I urge my colleagues to support this amendment.

I yield back the balance of my time.

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Mr. BROUN of Georgia. Mr. Chairman, my amendment zeroes out the HIV research RDT&E funding under the Department of Army, moving $22.7 million to the spending reduction account. Again, here we see research being conducted by a military that does not focus on the core mission of national security.

HIV research is being conducted in my home State of Georgia at the Centers for Disease Control, as well as at the National Institutes of Health. It is this type of duplication the American people have demanded that Congress eliminate.

This may mean agencies and departments coordinating more effectively to share information, but we must all work together, more sufficiently in the name of reduced spending. I urge support of this amendment.

I yield back the balance of my time.

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Mr. BROUN of Georgia. Mr. Chairman, my amendment would eliminate the Navy's funding for NATO research and development and transfer $9.1 million to the Israeli Cooperative Program.

The Secretary of Defense has gone on record stating that, and I quote, ``The NATO alliance has been used by many European nations as a means to subsidize their own defense spending with U.S. taxpayer money.'' I cannot agree more with the Secretary. Many members of NATO refuse to bear their share of the cost and risk.

Instead, Mr. Chairman, we should invest our valuable research dollars in an ally who is more than willing to pull its weight and take the fight to the enemy. The Israeli Cooperative Program is a ballistic missile program comanaged by Israel and the United States that will ensure the capability of our two missile defense programs.

Mr. Chairman, we have never had a greater need for missile defense, not only in this Nation, but in the Middle East with our great ally Israel. We have no greater ally in the Middle East than Israel. And our research programs should reflect our commitment to those allies who stand ready and willing to partner with us to protect our mutual interests. This would strengthen that mutual interest and strengthen that partnership.

Mr. Chairman, I urge support of this amendment.

I yield back the balance of my time

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Mr. BROUN of Georgia. Mr. Chairman, this amendment is nearly identical to the amendment that transfers NATO research to U.S.-Israeli missile defense. This one simply takes the $4.4 million in the Air Force's NATO R&D program and places those funds in the Israeli Cooperative Program for Israel and the United States, who are cooperating to develop a missile defense system that will help them and, as well, help us.

We must stand by Israel now and always. My amendment makes a positive step towards growing our relationship and solidifying security in the Middle East. It will help Israel, but it will help the United States also.

I urge my colleagues to support my amendment.

I yield back the balance of my time.

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Mr. BROUN of Georgia. I thank the gentleman for yielding. I appreciate his support of this amendment.

And I will remind Members that Iran is developing short-range, medium-range as well as long-range missile technology, as well as it is developing a nuclear weapon. We have never needed this kind of joint research with the Israelis to help prevent not only a missile attack or further missile attacks on Israel, which they get every day, but we need, for our own defense, to put more money into this instead of supporting NATO.

I think this is extremely important that we plus up this missile defense research for Israel, for our own selves, and I thank the gentleman for supporting the amendment.

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