Tags: Buck McKeon | Congress | U.S. Military | budget

Buck McKeon: Congress Is Letting Down the U.S. Military

By    |   Thursday, 04 Dec 2014 05:32 PM

The departing chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, Rep. Buck McKeon, tore into his colleagues’ performance in handling of national defense issues on Thursday. He said lawmakers have failed the military by allowing unwarranted budget cuts that have thrown good soldiers out of the service and "into a broken economy."

McKeon, a California Republican, is retiring from Congress at the end of this term, his 11th. He used his final floor speech as chairman of the panel to implore Democrats and Republicans to reach a compromise that would end the far-reaching defense budget cuts known as sequestration.

"When that solution comes, it will be a tough vote on both sides," McKeon said. "I pray that you will hold this thought in your hearts when that vote comes: Remember the great sacrifice our troops are making around the world."

These soldiers "are walking patrol in the mountains of Afghanistan. They are at sea within missile range of Iran. They are flying wingtip-to-wingtip against Russia bombers over the North Sea. They are nose-to-nose with the North Koreans," he said. "They are sweating in the equatorial heat of Africa, fighting a horrible disease. They are standing on the sand of Iraq, risking everything against a brutal enemy."

But in recent years Congress and the White House have let them down, McKeon said.

"How we have repaid them? With equipment that is falling apart. By laying them off while they’re off in war zones. By docking their pay and their medical benefits. By throwing them out of the service and onto a broken economy," he said.

"They never failed us," McKeon said. "So shame on us, if we’re unwilling to pay back the debt we owe them. Shame on all of us, from the White House down, if we cannot make far less a sacrifice on their behalf." He said it will be the responsibility of the next Congress and the president "to make these injustices right."

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The departing chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, Rep. Buck McKeon, tore into his colleagues' performance in handling of national defense issues on Thursday.
Buck McKeon, Congress, U.S. Military, budget
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2014-32-04
Thursday, 04 Dec 2014 05:32 PM
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