Our founding fathers believed providing for the common defense was so central to the responsibilities of our government they enshrined it in the preamble to the Declaration of Independence. In the uncertain world we live in today, this responsibility is more critical than ever.
Our adversaries range from large standing armies to terror factions operating in far-off regions or within our own borders hoping to attack innocent civilians at any opportunity.
As our threats increase, the brave men and women who serve our country have had to do more with less. Over the last 8 years, troop numbers and resources were slashed by the Obama Administration.
These drastic reductions have not been without consequence. Last year, we lost nearly four times as many service members due to accident and training incidents than we lost in combat. This is horrifying and completely unacceptable.
The men and women of America’s armed forces should be the best cared for, most well equipped, and highly trained in the world. About that there should be no question.
The First District of Georgia has long been home to military installations representing every branch of our Armed Forces. These men and women put their lives on the line to defend us and our freedoms.
Earlier this year, I supported the Bipartisan Budget Act to ensure our military has the resources it needs. This critical legislation restores our military as well as the safety and security of the American people as our government’s top priority.
Unfortunately, some in Congress are willing to play politics with our military. In January, Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer teamed up to hold our men and women in uniform hostage while trying to negotiate completely unrelated topics, going so far as shutting down the government because they wanted an amnesty agreement for illegal immigrants.
The recent passage of the Bipartisan Budget Act reflects the increased defense spending that I have supported for our military while ending the dangerous cycle of funding our military with budget band aids. We cannot allow funding and support for our troops, veterans, and military to be taken hostage anymore.
The Bipartisan Budget Act funds the military at $700 billion, a level in line with their needs and to help them crawl out of the funding hole set in motion by the last administration.
Additionally, I recently supported the federal spending bill for the current fiscal year which provides the necessary funding to rebuild our nation’s military with the largest investment in 15 years.
It will help us ensure that the A-10 Thunderbolts at Moody Air Force Base can continue to provide essential air support and combat search and rescue operations for our service members and allies in the fight against ISIS and elsewhere.
It provides the necessary funding for the continued construction for a new class of 12 ballistic missile submarines (SSBNs) which will one day replace the existing Ohio-class SSBNs such as those currently homeported at Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay. This is critical to make sure Kings Bay remains the elite home to the Atlantic ballistic submarine fleet.
It will support the 3rd Infantry Division at Fort Stewart’s transition to armored brigades and will help provide the resources they need to continue their operations from Africa to Afghanistan.
In a recent hearing, Secretary James Mattis noted the harm to our military’s readiness that has been done at the hand of the defense spending caps under the Budget Control Act. With only 5 brigade combat teams ready to ‘fight tonight,’ something needed to be done.
Members of our military put their lives on the line for our country, we must provide the support to ensure they are the most well prepared and well equipped force on the planet. The Bipartisan Budget Act and the recent federal spending bill finally work to make that happen.
I am proud to have supported both pieces of legislation because I will never turn my back on our troops, our veterans, or their families.