The Necessity to Recognize Budget Reduction Strategies Through Reorganization of the Defense Budget

Floor Speech

Date: April 8, 2011
Location: Washington, DC

* Mr. REED. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to speak about the current debt crisis our Nation faces and a strategy to rein in some significant federal spending, while strengthening our national defense initiatives. A paper written by Mallory Factor, published by Forbes on March 9, 2011, identified a strategy intended to reduce the defense budget. As the defense budget represents nineteen percent of the total federal budget, the cuts would have a significant effect on deficit reduction and highlight our commitment, as a Congress, to the American public that we will leave "no stone unturned'' as we work to reduce the total budget deficit.

* Mr. Factor's article does not suggest that we take an undiscerning approach to cutting the defense budget, rather "Congress must reconsider the military's mission and what activities it should undertake.'' In this assessment by Mr. Factor, and supported by myself, there is no indication that American military power be restricted in missions concerning American security. Rather, that auxiliary duties performed by the military (e.g., humanitarian missions, peacekeeping, nation building and disaster relief) ought to be separated from the core mission of the military; to provide for the common defense of our great Nation.

* Further, by separating and focusing these mission directives, we will produce a Department of Defense budget that clearly defines where our money is being spent. This will allow for a thorough and honest review of the allocation of such dollars and produce the foundation upon which a responsible debate can be held in this chamber on an issue of our generation, spending and debt.

* Therefore all options must be on the table as we, the 112th Congress, have committed ourselves to deficit reduction. For our future, and for the future of our children and grandchildren, it is imperative that we undertake this difficult task in the short term to ensure our Nation's viability for the long term.