Chair DeLauro Statement at Fiscal Year 2022 Department of Defense Budget Hearing

2021-05-27 13:21

Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (CT-03), Chair of the House Appropriations Committee, delivered the following remarks at the Defense Subcommittee's hearing on the Fiscal Year 2022 Department of Defense Budget Hearing.

Thank you, Chair McCollum and Ranking Member ­­­­­­­­­Calvert, for holding this hearing and thank you to Secretary Austin and Chairman Milley for testifying. I also want to thank you both for your many years of dedicated service to our country.

 As a nation we will always be indebted to our women and men in uniform, and to the families and communities who support them. And as we approach Memorial Day, we hold in our prayers the families of servicemembers who have made the ultimate sacrifice.

The best way for Congress to honor this service is by maintaining peace. Peace is a light in a world full of darkness. It is hard won, hard kept, and easily lost. And so, although it may seem paradoxical, investing in national security – even in the instruments of war – is fundamental to ensuring lasting peace.

No one on this panel needs to be reminded of the many threats that the United States faces. China is an increasingly fierce competitor, while Russia continues to be an aggressive revisionist power. Countries like Iran and North Korea pose unique challenges to our forces, while international terrorism remains a serious issue. At the same time, we must manage the lingering effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, navigate a rapidly shifting technological landscape, and act on the existential threat of climate change.

President Biden’s fiscal year 2022 discretionary request of $715 billion represents an $11 billion increase for the Department of Defense (DoD). Many of the funds in the request are essential to protecting our national security today and modernizing the DoD for tomorrow. I hope you will expand on your vision an give us the specifics, and how this top line number increases efficiency and lethality in the upcoming fiscal year. 

Of particular importance, this includes countering China by investing in state-of-the-art technology to ensure there is no capability gap between American and Chinese weapons. Our servicemembers should never enter an unfair fight. This budget proposal helps support investments in cutting-edge weapons systems and forward-looking research that supports the American economy and strengthens our capabilities.

I am also pleased that the discretionary request includes significant investments to address climate change. Climate change is a national security threat, and the investments in this proposal will improve the resiliency of military installations and make DoD operations more sustainable.

Finally, this request upholds the integrity of our Armed Forces, strengthens the military’s quality of life by addressing sexual assault, violent extremism, and other issues that have plagued our military’s ranks.

The Department of Defense is crucial to advancing our national security. I look forward to hearing more about how you will meet the challenges facing our nation and the resources you need to do so.

117th Congress