House Armed Services Committee Chairman Howard P. "Buck" McKeon (R-CA) made the following statement on the passage of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013 by the House of Representatives today:
"Chairman Ryan and Senator Murray deserve to be congratulated for reaching an agreement when no one else could. This agreement will provide our military with some near-term relief from sequestration and give them the ability to plan for the next year and a half. For those reasons alone, the deal earned my vote.
"However, I remain concerned that the new baseline for defense spending remains insufficient to meet future national security challenges while we restore our force after over a decade at war. At such a constrained resource level, the Department of Defense will be forced to make tough choices in the years ahead that will continue to affect readiness, modernization, and put our military and national security at greater risk. There is no way around the central truth, we will be asking our armed forces to do much more with far less for the foreseeable future.
"I also remain concerned with the way military pensions are treated in this agreement. Congress is waiting on the recommendations of an independent panel studying military compensation. Incremental changes to compensation generate uncertainty and are corrosive to the all-volunteer military. If we are going to change compensation, I would prefer it to be done at one time in a transparent manner that considers the entire spectrum of compensation. By impacting the pensions of current military retirees while grandfathering current civilian employees, this particular provision represents an imbalance that I expect the Military Compensation and Retirement Modernization Commission and the Armed Services Committee to reexamine in the coming years."