Alabama Gazette - The people's voice of reason

House Budget Good News for Defense

 


- Good news: The House has passed a Budget Resolution that increased critical funding for national defense, a key budget component that I strongly pushed for in negotiations.

For the last few months, we have been discussing ways to prevent devastating cuts to military funding known as sequestration from taking effect in the next fiscal year. As Congress began its negotiations for a Budget Resolution, I worked to build a bi-partisan coalition to support increased defense funding. It wasn’t always easy.

Originally, as passed out of committee, the Budget Resolution would have set base military spending at sequestration levels while creating a special account to provide additional funding conditional on whether as-yet-unidentified future savings become available. It is unwise to leave critical military funding to chance, and thankfully that proposal failed to pass.

The House then adopted an amended budget proposal I supported that made sure no military spending was contingent on future monies that may or may not actually become available. This amended Budget Resolution passed with a vote of 228-199.

All told, defense spending is set at $619 billion. This total includes $96 billion in Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) spending, which is used to fund conflicts across the globe.

Because the sequestration law caps base defense spending, OCO funding will supplement our readiness operations and other military activities that would typically be funded in the base budget. This procedure isn’t ideal, but it is necessary under the circumstances to get defense funding to proper levels.

I continue to strongly advocate for revising the sequestration law to treat our military fairly. But, until that happens, we cannot allow our military to go without the training and resources it needs to meet global challenges. The threat from ISIS is growing every day. Russia is increasingly aggressive. Conflict on the Arabian Peninsula is escalating quickly. We don’t know what will happen with Iran and its nuclear ambitions. In a dangerous world, we cannot allow the ill-advised sequestration law to keep us from properly funding national defense.

There was a lot of good in the various other Republican budgets. But, in the end, the best proposal won out. Our House Budget Resolution isn’t perfect, but it puts us on a realistic path to balance while protecting critical funding for the military. I appreciate my friend and Budget Committee Chairman Tom Price for his diligent work on this, and for listening to our concerns about proper military funding.

Roby, Delegation Meet with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu Iran’s nuclear capabilities, ISIS focus of discussions

JERUSALEM, ISRAEL – U.S. Representative Martha Roby (R-AL) on Wednesday met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to discuss Iran’s nuclear agenda and terrorism threats in the surrounding region. Roby’s visit to Israel comes at a particularly critical moment as negotiations continue with Iran and the threat of ISIS persists.

Roby is traveling as part of a high-profile delegation of U.S. lawmakers through the Middle East to evaluate the rising influence of ISIS and Iran and to examine the potential impacts on U.S. interests at home and abroad.

“Israel, our friend and close ally, is a critical foothold for democracy in a dangerous region that is, frankly, becoming less and less stable,” Roby said.

“We had a long, productive discussion with Prime Minister Netanyahu about our shared concerns relating to Iran’s nuclear capabilities. Under no circumstances can we allow Iran to build a nuclear weapon. It would threaten our allies, and it would cause a very serious ripple effect throughout the Middle East.

“Every indication we have tells us that the deal being discussed is weak. It would be a mistake to enter into a deal that creates an eventual path toward a bomb. We need to negotiate from a position of strength, not out of desperation to reach a deal with Iranian leaders who have stated an intent to harm both America and Israel. Our delegation assured the prime minister that we stand with Israel and that we will continue to work with its leaders to promote peace in the region.”

After a productive conversation with Prime Minister Netanyahu, the delegation traveled to the border of the Gaza Strip and received a briefing on the system of intricate “terror tunnels,” which are used by Hamas for military purposes. The lawmakers also visited the Black Arrow Paratrooper Memorial where they received an update on the situation inside Gaza.

Roby and the delegation traveled earlier this week to Iraq, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait where they met with elected officials, U.S. ambassadors and military personnel.

The delegation, led by Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH), is made up of senior lawmakers charged with oversight of the United States’ efforts to defeat the terrorist threat and support our partners in the region. In addition to Roby, the

delegation includes:

Rep. John Kline (R-MN) is chairman of the House Education & the Workforce Committee and a member of the House Armed Services Committee.

Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) is chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.

Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) is chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on the Middle East & North Africa and a member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.

Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-NJ) is chairman of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense.

Rep. Tom Cole (R-OK) is chairman of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health, & Human Services, and a member of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense.

Rep. Ken Calvert (R-CA) is chairman of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior and a member of the House Appropriations Sub committee on Defense.

Rep. Mike Simpson (R-ID) is chairman of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy & Water.

Rep. George Holding (R-NC) is a member of the House Ways & Means Subcommittee on Oversight.

Roby, who serves on the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Military Construction & Veterans Affairs, has traveled with the U.S. military in Afghanistan each of the last four years.

 

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