Hartzler Rejects Cuts to America's Military


Date: July 12, 2019
Location: Washington, DC

Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler (MO-04) made the following statement upon passage of H.R. 2500, the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2020:

"For years, under both Democrat and Republican control, Congress has consistently passed a bipartisan defense bill that meets the needs of our military. Since my time in Congress I have supported every NDAA, and as a senior member of the House Armed Services Committee I take this vote very seriously. I believe providing for the national defense is the most important constitutional duty of Congress, which is why my vote against this year's NDAA is something I do not take lightly.

"The objective of this Congress is to provide our men and women in uniform with the support necessary to defend our country and protect our way of life. Unfortunately, I do not believe this bill accomplishes this task, as it falls short of the funding levels that former Defense Secretary Mattis and other experts say is needed to maintain the United States' competitive edge over Russia and China.

"The Senate passed their bipartisan version with 86 votes. However, in an effort to placate the far-left wing of the Democrat party, the House bill cuts the President's budget significantly. It also greatly restricts our military's traditional mission of supporting border security, leaving our nation vulnerable on multiple fronts.

"As a leader on the Armed Services Committee and the most senior Republican on the Tactical Air and Land Subcommittee, I have worked for months to secure support for Whiteman AFB and Fort Leonard Wood, including funding for the B-21 program and other important initiatives. It is my hope that a compromise can be reached in our Conference with the Senate that embraces the need for a more robust defense budget that is not diminished by the extreme wing of the Democrat Party. The defense of our nation is too important to be subjected to such partisanship."

The House Democrats' version of the NDAA will:

Cut personnel accounts across the board by $1.2 billion, the same accounts that fund troop pay, benefits, and housing.
Shrink critical programs designed to deter Russia and China, including cuts to hypersonics, ship construction, 5G development, and rapid innovation programs.
Curtail our nuclear deterrent programs, including cuts to the replacement program for our aging intercontinental ballistic missiles and a prohibition on submarine launched low-yield nuclear weapons, which serve as a deterrent to Russia.
Reduce readiness recovery, by cutting spare parts, ammunition programs, training, and facilities maintenance.
Prevent DoD from using acceptable medical and physical standards for new recruits, thus jeopardizing military readiness and deployability.
Curtail DoD from helping with the crisis on the southern border.

Conversely, Hartzler supported the Republican NDAA alternative which includes a 4% pay raise for our troops, provides additional funding for the military personnel account and increases important operations and maintenance accounts. These funding increases will reverse cuts to readiness and provide additional money for depot maintenance, spare parts, facilities sustainment, force readiness operations and ammunition programs to ensure our troops have the training and resources necessary to fulfill their mission and continue to reduce the rate of accidents. Unfortunately, this measure did not pass the House.