Senator David Perdue Blasts Democrats’ Political Showmanship On Defense Appropriations Bill
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator David Perdue (R-GA) today spoke on the floor to highlight the Senate Democrats’ obstructionism when it comes to providing for our country’s national defense, and to call on Congress to break through the gridlock and protect our women and men in uniform.
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“We are at a very critical juncture during this Congress and indeed in our country. What I want to talk about today is the nonsense that's going on right now about funding our military. These are women and men around the world in uniform whose mission is to protect our freedom.
Let me remind everybody that there are only six reasons why 13 colonies got together in the first place to create this union. One of those was to provide for the national defense. Yet here we are, basically trying to do what the president has asked and fund the military, and we're being obstructed by the people across the aisle.
I just don't understand that. We have people right now who are in danger of not being able to fulfill their missions around the world. As a member of the Foreign Relations Committee, I've traveled extensively over the last year and a half. I've seen around the world where dedicated women and men don't have the resources to fulfill their missions, and it endangers the very freedom that we have here at home.
I believe that this is a critical point in this Congress to tell the American people we're either going to break through this gridlock and move to do what's right, or we're going to sit here on our hands and argue the political side of this while our women and men are in danger.
One of the hardest things to understand right now is the fact that in the last 30 years we've continued to disinvest in our military. This chart shows under the last three Democratic presidents how we disinvested in the military. This green line is a chart of the percentage of GDP that we spent on our military, and so it's gotten down all the way to today where we're spending three percent of our GDP.
It's the lowest point in the last 30 years, and I will say this, the 30-year average here is about 4.2 percent. That differential was 100 basis points. What that means is about – in today's size of economy, it's about $200 billion. Now, put that in perspective, we're spending about $600 billion on our military today.
Can you imagine what difference that would make? The last time a Secretary of Defense put a budget up based on a bottom-up estimate of need based on the missions around the world was Secretary Gates in 2011. In 2011, he estimated that for 2016 and 2017—what we're talking about here in this budget—his estimate was some tens of billions of dollars more than what we're doing now, and his estimate was prior to ISIS, prior to Russia's activity in Crimea, Ukraine and Georgia. What happens now is in the next ten years, unless something is done, under the current presidential plan of spending for the next ten years, not only are we going to add $9.5 trillion to our debt, but we are on track to reduce military spending to 2.6 percent of GDP.
Now, that's another roughly $100 billion of cuts if all other factors were held constant. I just don't understand this brinkmanship that we see. This is not the first time. I think this is the fifth time we're going to have voted on funding our military. The reaction of the other side befuddles me from the standpoint that they tell us they want to support our women and men. They give us these heart-wrenching stories, and yet then they won’t stand up and won't even let us get the bill on the floor.
To be brief, it's time for the Democrats to stop the obstructionism and the political showmanship. This is about the security of our country, about the lives of our women and men abroad. They deserve better than this. We can do better than this. The world is more dangerous than at any time in my lifetime. It's time that we stand up and tell the world what we are committed to, and that is to provide for our own national defense. That means funding this defense appropriations bill.”
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