Chair McCollum Statement at Fiscal Year 2023 United States Army Budget

2022-05-17 09:40

Congresswoman Betty McCollum (D-MN), Chair of the Defense Subcommittee, delivered the following remarks at the subcommittee's hearing on the Fiscal Year 2023 United States Army Budget. 

This morning the Subcommittee will receive testimony on the fiscal year 2023 budget request for the Department of the Army. Our two witnesses are the Honorable Christine Wormuth, Secretary of the Army, and General James McConville, the Chief of Staff of the Army. Both leaders have long, distinguished careers, and we thank you for appearing.

This is an extraordinary time for the United States Army, with over 175,000 soldiers deployed around the world, including those in Eastern Europe supporting Ukraine. Soldiers are the Army’s most critical resource, and we care deeply about their welfare and quality of life. 

We will talk today about the training, equipment, and resources needed to give our soldiers the skills and tools needed to accomplish their missions. We know that your public message is “People First”, and I commend you for adding $70 million to your request for childcare, but we must do more to reduce waitlists and expand eligibility.  I want to find out how your policies and budget reflect people as your top priority. We are also keeping a close eye on equipment modernization. The request invests heavily in your signature modernization programs, and we are excited to see many of these capabilities in the hands of soldiers soon. 

This Subcommittee has overwhelmingly supported your modernization strategy by providing the necessary resources to advance these acquisition programs.  However, I don’t want to lose sight of existing capabilities that support our soldiers and keep them safe right now.  One example is vehicle rollovers.  The Congress made a significant investment in fiscal year 2022 to help prevent future vehicle accidents, and I am interested to know what the Army is doing to address this issue.  

Finally, turning to Ukraine, I am interested to know how US equipment supporting Ukrainian land forces has improved their success on the battlefield, how it is impacting the U.S. stock
of equipment, and what lessons you are learning that will guide your operational strategy for the future.

117th Congress