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Public Statements

Department Of Defense Appropriations Act, 2010

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC

Department Of Defense Appropriations Act, 2010


Mr. FRELINGHUYSEN. I thank the gentleman for yielding.

Madam Chairman, I want to echo the comments of our ranking member, Mr. Young, and I want to thank Mr. Murtha for a good bill. I do rise to support it.

Clearly, if I'd written the bill, I would have written it differently in certain areas. Overall, I wish our subcommittee could have done more, but I recognize we did the best with the allocation we have. The bill is $3.5 billion short of the President's request despite the fact that we're engaged in two hard-fought wars in Afghanistan and Iraq that are hardly over. In fact, the President has obligated us to a rather open-ended commitment in Afghanistan where casualties have been rising and where more money may be needed.

Madam Chairman, the first time America tangled with extremists overseas, President John Adams was confronted by partisans who chanted, ``Millions for defense, not a penny for tribute.'' That was then and this is now.

At a time when Congress has found the ``will and the wallet'' to throw billions of borrowed dollars at every domestic program under the sun, some are finding ways to cut defense spending--sometimes subtly, sometimes not so subtly. I tell my colleagues who have pledged to support a strong national defense that this bill is the high watermark. In fact, it's all downhill from here.

I do support the reform of our military acquisition processes, which have come under examination. I do support Secretary Gates' program to reexamine our national security priorities in light of new, irregular challenges and threats that are proliferating well beyond Iraq and Afghanistan.

Take a look at a more belligerent Russia. Take a look at the Chinese capabilities in terms of their Navy, their air and their cyberattacks. Take a look at the things that are happening on the Korean peninsula, at the things that are happening in Africa and at the things that are happening in our own hemisphere.

I do worry about this administration's apparent obsession with this war-ism. I urge my colleagues to make sure we make enough investments today to ensure that we will be prepared to defend our interests against all threats in the years to come.

I do support the legislation, and as Mr. Murtha and Mr. Young have said, there is a pay increase in here for all of our troops, all volunteering. There is first-class medical care, a lot more money, more money for shipbuilding, more money for the procurement of fighters, more money for MRAPs in Afghanistan, and importantly, there is $500 million for the National Guard equipment for both overseas and home-state missions.

Madam Chairman, I wish we could restore the cuts to our missile defense. I wish we could ensure that our F-22 assembly line could keep going. I wish we had an immediate substitute for our future combat system. These are important elements that need to be addressed. All in all, this is a good bill.

I congratulate the chairman for his leadership, and I congratulate the ranking member. I am pleased to support it.


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