U.S. Congressman Tom Cole (OK-4) released the following statement after House passage of H.R. 5856 - Department of Defense Appropriations Act. Cole is a member of the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee.
"Anyone who thinks America spends too much for defense should examine this legislation. This year's Defense Appropriations bill cuts $28 billion and reduces the number of military personnel by 21,000.
"The House has shown it's possible to reduce wasteful spending without jeopardizing our security, but the additional $500 billion reduction hitting the military soon will mean a real loss of capability. Over the next five years, the military will be forced to carry out its missions with70,000 fewer soldiers, 20,000 fewer Marines, 25 fewer combat vessels and seven fewer aircraft fighter wings.
"The Defense Appropriations bill demonstrates a responsible approach to defense funding in a time of austerity. President Obama and Senate Democrats should follow its example and join the House in working to prevent the devastating sequester cuts that military leaders warn will gut our defense capabilities."