At least one branch of our military has been deployed at all times since Kosovo nearly twenty years ago – and for the last sixteen years we have been fighting a global and ongoing war against radical Islamic-inspired terrorism. At the beginning of 2017, we were still involved in wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Yemen, Somalia, and Libya. An entire generation has served and sacrificed, and these men and women have performed so bravely and heroically throughout. We owe them such a debt of gratitude for their determination, persistence, and their remarkable courage. All these troubled years and the many battles have left our military depleted and so many of our veterans and their families in need. Sadly, that has not stopped some from playing the needs of our defense against other spending priorities. Sequestration, and the elimination of budgeting earmarks for the Department of Defense, has had dire consequences. And despite the fact that the defense of our nation is the first and clearest charge of our Constitution, our current Congress is not taking the steps needed.
When I represent our community in Congress, I will make the proper funding of our military--funding that allows us to address both readiness and modernization--a top priority. We must also spend smart. That means finding the right balance between growing the troop numbers and enhancing our combat readiness. Alongside this, and perhaps most critical, is our need to invest in the current members of our military. I will support programs that focus on career development, including education and training. Retention of our experienced service members can go a long way toward our military effectiveness. Simply put, our military needs to be a spending priority, and our service men and women deserve to be a priority.
- Continue addressing readiness issues throughout the military.
- Vote to eliminate the defense sequester from the Budget Control Act.
- Create a program to restart limited earmarks for critical defense projects only.
- Continue progress on a thorough evaluation of the VA and strengthening accountability.