Granger Remarks at FY23 Defense Full Committee Markup
Thank you, Madam Chair, for yielding.
First, I want to thank Chair Mccollum and Ranking Member Calvert for their work on the fiscal year 2023 Defense Appropriations Bill.
As the former chair of this subcommittee, I know how much hard work went into drafting this bill, and I also want to acknowledge the committee staff.
I appreciate that Chair Mccollum has included many Republican priorities in this bill. I know this was not easy because your allocation is so low.
Since the first day I was sworn in as a Member of Congress, I have made clear that my top priority was to provide for our national defense. Not only is it a responsibility given to us by the Constitution, it is the only way to protect the very freedoms that make this the greatest country in the world.
I am concerned that the administration’s request for defense spending is dangerously low and fails to prioritize spending on vital national security programs. At a time when China is rapidly modernizing, Russia is invading a sovereign nation, and North Korea continues to fire missiles, the funding in the bill is not enough.
The military services requested more than $21 billion in their unfunded priorities, and we know even that number is artificially low. Because the president’s defense request is lacking, this bill fails to add any additional F-35 fighter jets. The Navy and Air Force have been facing a shortfall for years. We should be increasing production, not reducing it.
At a time when China is producing their own next-generation aircraft and is becoming increasingly aggressive, we must rapidly invest in advanced warfighting capabilities. In addition to my concerns about the spending level, the Majority has included partisan riders that will never be supported by Members on our side of the aisle.
These riders include:
- A new general provision about leave policies related to abortion; and
- A requirement to close the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay.
Our military leadership has made it clear that continuing resolutions are very bad for the Department of Defense and our military services. By moving this important bill through the committee and to the floor, we can start the necessary work of improving it so that it can become law.
We must get the Department of Defense the funding they need to protect the American people and our allies.
Thank you, Madam Chair, I yield back.