June 13, 2013
We, the leaders of our undersigned organizations may not agree on many things, but we all agree on this: The time has come to reduce wasteful and ineffective spending at the Pentagon. Doing so will not only save valuable tax dollars, it will help make America safer by making the hard decisions our national security requires.
As you prepare to vote on H.R. 1960, the National Defense Authorization Act of FY14 (NDAA), we hope you will consider ways to spend in accordance with the current law. The current bill authorizes $552 billion for defense—$54 billion above current law spending caps. Whether or not one supports those caps, it is irresponsible to continue to ignore current law and set our country on the path towards yet another sequestration this fall.
There is a growing consensus—among members of Congress from both sides of the aisle, policy wonks of various stripes, and even defense industry CEOs—that you can, and should, find areas for substantial savings in the Pentagon’s bloated budget. Last week, two major consensus documents—one from a group of defense experts at organizations from across the political spectrum, and the other from fiscal conservatives—recommended major cuts and reforms in Pentagon spending that could save billions.
The White House has also weighed in via its Statement of Administration Policy (SAP) on the NDAA. Specifically, the SAP objects to a number of programs about which Congress has ignored the advice of our military leaders and provided funding that is neither requested nor desired.
We urge you to vote YES on the following sensible amendments:
Troops in Europe
Eliminating $5b OCO Plus-up above Pentagon Request
These are just a handful of the many recommendations our groups and other experts have offered for finding savings in the Pentagon budget. Unfortunately, you and your colleagues will not be allowed to vote on several other amendments that we supported because the House Rules Committee inexplicably rejected them. Still, we hope you will support these five amendments which are each a step in the right direction.
The American people are counting on your courage to stand up to the status quo that has squandered far too many taxpayer dollars in the name of national security. We urge you to vote for sensible savings to make our country stronger and our future more secure.
American Friends Service Committee