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Chairman Rogers Prepared Statement on FY 2012 Defense Appropriations Bill Before Full Committee


Washington, Jun 14 -

"I would like to start by thanking Chairman Young and Ranking Member Dicks for your remarks and for your commitment to crafting a bipartisan Defense bill that supports our troops and addresses our critical national security needs.

"The $530 billion in non-emergency funding contained within this Defense bill will provide our armed forces with the resources they need, and will allow for the advancement of our nation’s missions abroad and the protection of our people here at home.

"As our soldiers and Marines continue to put their lives on the line to eliminate terrorism and protect freedom around the globe, Congress must support and fund their actions in a timely and reasonable manner. This bill sustains our military readiness, facilitating the continued modernization and preservation of the greatest armed forces in the world.

"These efforts include adequate funding for equipment procurement, base operations and military pay. To improve our defense capabilities and prepare for future challenges, we’ve provided funding for research and development into new technology, including the tanker replacement program and the Broad Area Maritime Surveillance Unmanned Aerial Vehicle.

"This legislation also provides essential funding for health and quality of life programs for the men and women of the Armed Services and their families.

"Although we are engaged in wars on several fronts, there is also a battle being waged at home – against skyrocketing, dangerous deficits. No bill or department should be immune from scrutiny during these difficult financial times. This legislation identifies fiscally responsible savings – savings that will in no way impair the safety of our troops, the success of our military missions, or our military readiness. The bill also rescinds $1.7 billion in unneeded prior year funds where appropriate.

"The bill also increases oversight of Defense programs and funds to ensure that tax dollars are being spent wisely and efficiently. We’ve taken a critical eye to and increased scrutiny on some programs to ensure American taxpayers are receiving the proper benefits for their defense investments. For instance, we’ve provided for the Pakistan Counter-insurgency Capability Fund, but the bill withholds 75% of that funding until the Secretary provides Congress with a report on strategy and metrics for the use of these funds, particularly in light of recent developments in that country.

"All in all, this bill is $9 billion less than the President’s request; however, this legislation increases base funding for the Department of Defense by $17 billion – reflecting our steadfast commitment to ensuring our troops and commanders have the resources they need.

"Once again, I’d like to thank the Chairman, the Ranking Member and the Committee staff for their hard work on this bill. I urge the subcommittee to promptly report this bill to the House."