Granger Remarks at Defense FY22 Full Committee Markup

Jul 13, 2021

Thank you, Madam Chair, for yielding.

First, I want to thank Chair McCollum and Ranking Member Calvert for their work on the fiscal year 2022 Defense appropriations bill.

As the former chair of this subcommittee, I know how much hard work goes into drafting this bill and how important it is.

I also want to acknowledge the efforts of the committee staff, specifically our minority clerk, Johnnie Kaberle, and the majority clerk, Chris Bigelow.

Providing funding for our nation’s defense is one of the most important responsibilities we have as Members of Congress, and those staffers are so very, very important.

I am pleased to see that this bill funds many priorities for Members on both sides of the aisle. 

Significant investments in programs such as the F-35 and the Columbia Class submarine increase our security, give the United States a competitive edge against our adversaries, and strengthen our industrial base.

However, the total funding level provided in this bill is just far too low. 

The bipartisan National Defense Strategy Commission stated that the Department of Defense needs a three to five percent increase above inflation to keep pace with the threats we face around the world.

This bill does not meet that mark, and the funding levels provided will have real consequences. 

China, Russia, Iran, and North Korea are continuing threats to U.S. national security and that of our partners and allies.

The leaders in China repress their people at home and promote aggressive policies abroad. They are also raising investments in advanced technologies. We can’t allow China to threaten our military superiority.

Now is the time to prioritize our national security funding, not short-change it.

Instead of providing this urgently needed funding, the majority party has chosen to prioritize domestic programs over our national security needs. 

Unfortunately, that is why, although I support many of the programs funded in this bill, I must oppose it.

In addition to funding concerns, this bill contains many new provisions that will divide Members, including new minimum wage and Davis-Bacon Act requirements. 

Republicans will oppose the passage of this bill and others until we reach bipartisan agreement to ensure that the Department of Defense has the funds it needs to address current threats and controversial provisions are dropped.

I sincerely hope we can work together as the appropriations process continues to ensure that we have final bills with bipartisan support that provide the level of security Americans expect.

Thank you, Madam Chair. I yield back.