The House Armed Services Committee responds to the Obama administration's demand for further Defense cuts today:
McKeon: New $78 Billion in Defense Cuts Is a Dramatic Shift for a Nation at War
Cuts above and beyond Gates $100 Billion in Efficiencies
Washington, D.C.—U.S. Rep. Howard P. “Buck” McKeon (R-Calif.), the Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, today released the following statement after being briefed by Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen on defense cuts within the Department of Defense:
"I'm not happy. We went into today's meeting trying to ensure the $100 billion in targeted savings were reinvested back into our national security priorities. We didn't expect to hear that before these efficiencies can be realized, the White House and OMB have demanded that the Pentagon cut an additional $78 billion from defense over the next five years.
“These cuts are being made without any commitment to restore modest future growth, which is the only way to prevent deep reductions in force structure that will leave our military less capable and less ready to fight. This is a dramatic shift for a nation at war and a dangerous signal from the Commander in Chief.
"Today's meeting was the first step in a longer process that now involves the U.S. Congress. We will closely scrutinize Secretary Gates' proposal in the coming months as we craft the defense budget for Fiscal Year 2012. At first glance, I’m particularly concerned about the proposed cuts to the U.S. Marine Corps.
“Members of the House Armed Services Committee remain committed to the Marine Corps as an expeditionary fighting force ‘in ready’, which includes the capability to conduct amphibious landings. This mission could be jeopardized by the cancellation of the Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle, a capability re-validated by the Secretary just last year, and delays in the Joint Strike Fighter and amphibious ship construction.
“I remain committed to applying more fiscal responsibility and accountability to the Department of Defense, but I will not stand idly by and watch the White House gut defense when Americans are deployed in harm's way."