The nation's defense is the first and primary mission of the federal government. Some voices in Congress have long supported a dramatic decrease in our military spending as a means of moving the United States away from our role as a world superpower and into a lesser, more complementary role supporting a military on par with other Western nations, especially those in the European Union. I could not disagree more. At a time when terrorist nations and those whom they support are actively seeking to end our way of life, our national defense is as important as it has ever been.
We have asked so much--and continue to ask more--of our men and women in uniform, and we must ensure that they have the equipment, training, and other resources they need to accomplish their missions.
That said, there are ways we can make better use of our defense budget, and I am in favor of using Congress' oversight role to look into the process by which the Pentagon procures its weapons systems and other goods and services. We must also take a look at how some in Congress have come to use the Pentagon budget as a way of channeling money into their districts through unwanted and wasteful projects. Simply reforming these two areas of the defense budget can net large savings without undermining our military needs.
The men and women of our Armed Forces are the bedrock upon which our freedom and liberty are built, and I will never turn my back on them. I will fight every day in Congress to make sure they are fairly compensated, receive the health benefits they have earned, and find all the support they need when their time of service is over. Our military and veterans are a national treasure, and we must make sure they are honored in a manner befitting their service.