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Concurrent Resolution on the Budget for Fiscal Year 2014

Floor Speech

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Mr. MCKEON. Mr. Chair, I rise in support of the Path to Prosperity--our House plan to balance the budget in ten years, restore our economy and grow jobs. As Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, I am particularly gratified to see this plan provide for our men and women in uniform and our national security by replacing deeply harmful sequestration cuts to our national defense with other commonsense reforms.

Since 9/11 our military has been operating at a very high operational tempo around the world keeping this country's citizens safe from those who seek to do us harm--from deadly attacks by al-Qaeda to the sabre rattling of Iran and nuclear provocations of North Korea. But back home as our economy slowed and our deficit rose, this Administration began to question our role in the world and called for substantial reductions to our national defense. While we agreed that everything should have been on the table in order to address this Nation's deficit spending, defense has represented only 18% of our national budget, while our military has absorbed 50% of the cuts to date.

Which is why it is so important today that House Republicans stand unified, both fiscal and national security conservatives, on the goal of replacing arbitrary, automatic across-the-board cuts to our military. This House Republican budget, as does its counterpart from the Republican Study Committee, provides $560.2 billion in defense funding for fiscal year 2014. This is the amount my Committee called for in our views to Chairman RYAN, and an amount consistent with our military responsibilities. Over the next decade, we provide over $6 trillion to fund our nation's defense. While this is significantly less than the levels in previous budget resolutions passed by the House, it is $500 billion more than will be available under sequestration. It allows our military to execute the current national defense strategy and avoids the hollow force and unacceptable level of strategic and operational risk our commanders have warned us about in hearings before our Committee.

I want to thank Chairman RYAN for his unyielding dedication and belief in this country and in American exceptionalism. Absent his vision and absent this House budget, in just four short years, we will be paying more in interest on our debt than our national security. I urge members to support this budget and one of Congress's core constitutional responsibilities--to provide for our common defense.

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