Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler (MO-4), a member of the House Armed Services Committee, has taken action to ensure the United States is able to provide for its defense -- voting to replace dangerous defense cuts under the sequestration process with common sense spending reductions elsewhere.
"The first responsibility of the United States government is to provide for the common defense," said Hartzler. "Without further action by the Senate and the Obama Administration, significant across the board cuts to defense will take place in January of next year as part of the sequestration process resulting from the failure of legislators to reach an agreement on how to reduce the deficit. This sequestration process came about as a result of the Budget Control Act that raised the debt ceiling -- which I voted against.
"Budget reductions are necessary and this bill continues that commitment," continued Hartzler. "But the cuts must be found elsewhere as they would pose a serious threat to our men and women in uniform and their ability to protect this country. The House Armed Services Committee, on which I serve, estimates sequestration cuts would mean an additional 100,000 fewer Soldiers and Marines. The Navy would likely mothball 60 ships, including two carrier battle groups, while we give up nearly a third of Army Maneuver Battalions and Air Force fighters, a quarter of our bombers, and jeopardize our ability to defend against a nuclear attack. We would also see the elimination of 250 fighter aircraft, and higher fees for military health care. Hundreds of billions of dollars in additional cuts would force our military to give up on developing new weapons systems while badly-needed repairs to existing weapons systems are put on hold."
"Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has determined that sequestration will further weaken America's national defense by bringing about the smallest ground force since World War II, the smallest Navy since World War I, the smallest tactical fighter force in the history of the Air Force, and the smallest civilian workforce in the history of the Defense Department," added Hartzler. "He has said the sequester cuts would "hollow out the force and inflict severe damage to our national defense.'"
"The Sequester Replacement Reconciliation Act of 2012 heads off sequestration with viable alternatives for reducing spending," concluded Hartzler. "We realize savings through a series of common sense reforms that include stopping fraud by ensuring that individuals are eligible for taxpayer benefits they receive, stopping bailouts, controlling runaway spending, and reducing waste and duplicative programs."
Having passed the House, the legislation now moves to the Senate for its consideration.
Congresswoman Hartzler, a member of the House Armed Services Committee, is committed to maintaining funding for America's national defense as Congress' top priority.