Congressman Jon Runyan (R-NJ) released the following statement after Defense Secretary Leon Panetta presented the Department of Defense's Fiscal Year 2013 Budget.
"I am extremely disappointed in the news from Secretary Leon Panetta regarding the Fiscal year 2013 budget planning for the Department of Defense. There is no doubt that we all understand the very difficult fiscal situation our nation is facing right now, but the cuts cannot all come on the backs of our men and women in uniform. In his remarks today, Secretary Panetta laid out his plan to fulfill President Obama's new military strategy. This flawed plan includes an expansive BRAC process that could mean shutting down bases; reducing the number of ships and aircrafts in our forces, and changes in pay and benefits for military personnel and retirees. One notable change to the pay and benefits is the increase in fees on benefits for retirees. This will not only have a tremendous affect on our national security but also on our nation's economy. The defense industry is one of the United States last domestic manufacturing bases and these cuts will force the industrial base into an unworkable position. Our military has seen cuts of $465 billion as part of deficit reduction and potentially another reduction of $492 billion as part of the Budget Control Act of 2011. The President's new plan calls for an additional $487 billion in cuts. I am firmly against new rounds of BRAC during this especially crucial period for our nation. A round of BRAC could result in thousands of lost jobs and the forced relocation of millions of families. In 2005 Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst was created by combining three separate military installations. There are more than 44,000 servicemen and women, civilians and their families who work and live in the area. A new round of BRAC could result in the closure of even a mission of the joint base, which would have devastating consequences on the regional economy. This is why I am standing firm with Armed Services Committee Chairman Buck McKeon in opposing the President's new strategy and finding alternative ways to get the federal budget in order, and will continue to advocate for JB MDL."