The federal government's top priority is to defend the security of the United States. Over the past decade, our responsibility is keener than ever.
I voted to authorize support for military engagements in Afghanistan and Iraq. I have also routinely voted against measures to precipitously withdraw forces from those two operations and for amendments that would deny the resources needed to achieve success. The capture and killing of Osama bin Laden is evidence that the men and women serving our country in our armed forces are among the best and brightest warfighters in the world.
I opposed a broad Democratic effort to defund military operations in Afghanistan, including important counterinsurgency funds. I also opposed cuts to the Afghanistan Infrastructure Fund, the Iraq Security Forces Fund, and the Commander's Emergency Response Program in Afghanistan.
My commitment to the troops and our mission is unshakeable. My support, however, for these operations and for our military personnel does not mean that there aren't expenses to cut in the Defense Department. In fact, billions of dollars in wasteful congressional earmarks and continued extraneous spending in defense spending measures, not all of which is even related to the nation's defense, has led me to vote against those measures. We simply cannot afford to continue to ignore the enormous amount of deficit spending and the crushing debt that is continually added.