Mr. Speaker, the most important function of our government is to provide for the common defense. That is why I am pleased that the National Defense Authorization Act blocks the administration's end strength reduction proposal, as well as redistribution of important National Guard aviation assets. But I do have some specific concerns.
Of specific concern of this misguided and shortsighted proposal is the impact on the Mississippi National Guard's 155th Heavy Brigade Combat Team. This unit has a proven history of defending freedom abroad. But recently, when our State was hit by devastating tornados, these were the first responders. They provided vital security and search and rescue. I commend these men and women that make up the 155th and express my concern for the support of their mission.
Congress cannot balance our budget on the backs of the men and women voluntarily serving our country, nor expect their families, who already give so much, to make further sacrifices.
To find areas within our Federal Government to responsibly cut, we must look at all forms of Federal spending, not just the discretionary spending alone.