Today, 24 Republican and Democratic members of Congress, led by Congressman Keith Ellison (D-MN) and Congressman Mick Mulvaney (R-SC), sent a letter to President Obama and Congressional leadership urging them to include defense savings in the current budget negotiations.
"As you begin negotiations to improve our nation's fiscal health, we write to express bipartisan support for including defense savings in any final budget agreement," the letter says. "We believe that substantial defense savings can be achieved over the long-term, without compromising national security, through strategic reductions in the Pentagon's budget."
Last week, several defense industry executives acknowledged the need to reduce the Pentagon's budget, which has grown by more than 30 percent over the last decade. David Langstaff, president and chief executive of TASC, Inc., said, "We need to stop believing or pretending that there is a scenario out there that offers no defense cuts. The question is whether we make them responsibly or irresponsibly."
Congressmen Ellison and Mulvaney and their colleagues wrote that sensible defense savings will actually advance U.S. national security by reducing the national debt, which many government officials have identified as a threat to American security.
"As we transition from wartime to peacetime, and as we confront our nation's fiscal challenges, future defense budgets should reflect the conclusion of these wars [in Iraq and Afghanistan] and acknowledge that our modern military is able to approach conflicts utilizing fewer -- but more advanced -- resources," the Members wrote. "As you work toward a budget agreement to address our fiscal challenges, we urge you to include substantial defense savings."