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Mr. CALVERT. Mr. Chairman, I rise in strong support of the 2013 Defense appropriations bill.
First, I want to thank my chairman and friend, Chairman Young, and my friend, Ranking Member Dicks, for their hard work, and their staffs, both the majority and the minority, for an extremely thoughtful and balanced bill.
In crafting this bill, the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee held countless hearings and ensured that strong congressional oversight was alive and well. It's been an honor to serve on the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, and I can attest to the hard work that's gone into this bill.
Our Nation's first priority is the protection of our citizens and our national interests around the world. This bill fulfills that duty. The FY13 Defense appropriations bill also fulfills a promise to our U.S. servicemembers that they will continue to receive the best training, equipment, and health care. Likewise, the bill fulfills needed requirements to ensure that our commanders have the tools they need to accomplish U.S. missions around the world and support America's defense industrial base.
I understand that many Members may have objections to the overall funding level of the defense bill, and there's no doubt that every aspect of government, including defense, must come under close fiscal scrutiny. However, the short-term benefits of decimating defense will only leave us in a more economically precarious position in the future. This bill properly balances the need to make responsible cuts while ensuring that America maintains its military superiority.
On a personal basis, I want to thank some friends that are leaving the committee, Jerry Lewis and Norm Dicks, for their many years of service. Not only are they colleagues, but they're good friends, and we're going to miss their service here in this institution. So I thank you for all your hard work.
Lastly, I urge my colleagues to vote in favor of this bill, and I yield back the balance of my time.
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