Congressman Buck McKeon, the chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, released the following statement regarding President Obama’s State of the Union address:
JOBS and ECONOMY
“The number one priority for Americans today is jobs, and Republicans have been working to foster an environment for greater job-creation and economic certainty. I appreciate the call by the President to improve the economy, but I will simultaneously suggest that actions by the legislative and executive branches will speak louder than any words we heard during the State of the Union address.
Don’t miss a thing. Get breaking news delivered right to your inbox
“It is my hope that the President will truly work with Republicans in the 112th Congress to reduce government spending, which has become an extraordinary burden on the nation’s economy. House Republicans understand that borrowing against taxpayers, small businesses, and families ultimately weakens the economy, which is why today we successfully passed a bill to roll back government funding to the 2008 levels or less – before taxpayers were hit with the unsuccessful stimulus program and large-scale bailouts.
“In the first weeks of the new Congress, House Republicans acted on our pledge to cut spending by voting to repeal Obamacare and by cutting Congress’ budget by 5 percent. We must rein in out-of-control spending because we cannot buy our way to prosperity.”
“Our nation’s military personnel and their families are the backbone of the finest fighting force the world has ever known. They have made sacrifices that are unimaginable to some, and continue to do so every day. They are patriots who choose to live a warrior life, and they embody the best our nation has to offer. These families have been asked to bear the heaviest of burdens and are doing it in the most remarkable way.
“I’m pleased that the President called attention to and offered to provide more support for these selfless individuals. As the saying goes, you recruit the soldier, sailor, airmen and Marine; but you retain the family. We look forward to receiving additional details on the President’s proposals in the coming weeks as the Armed Services Committee begins the process of crafting the annual defense authorization bill.
“While I appreciate the President’s tribute to our military personnel and their families, I would have liked to hear the President also call for making additional investments in the capabilities and equipment our troops need to successfully complete their missions. We all agree that the Pentagon must face greater scrutiny for how it spends taxpayer dollars, but we must also invest in the requirements needed to keep our country safe today and tomorrow. In fact, these investments have the added benefit of spurring the economy and driving the innovation that is the hallmark of this great nation.
“On Afghanistan, the President identified some of the successes that our commanders and troops have achieved during the last year. These brave souls deserve our respect and praise for making these gains in a tough environment and against great odds. I remain concerned that the President’s narrow focus on beginning to withdraw U.S. troops in July of this year sends the wrong message to our allies and enemies alike. All Americans want our troops to return home safely and as soon as possible, but they also want that redeployment to be based on conditions set by our troops—not by our enemies.”