Hearing: The Cost of Current Defense Plans: An Analysis of Budget Issues

Ranking Member Paul Ryan Opening Statement

Thank Chairman Spratt.

I’d also like to welcome our witnesses: Stephen Daggett – welcome back; Matthew Goldberg – welcome. We appreciate you being here.

I think it’s fair to assume that the chief concerns on most Americans’ minds – and on the minds of this Congress – remain the economy, jobs – and the future of health care.

But even as we continue to address these challenges, others are coming to a head. Among them, of course, is how we’re going to handle Afghanistan and Iraq – as well as other developing threats such as North Korea and Iran.

So even with the countless competing demands on the budget, this Congress must continue to honor the primary role of the Federal Government: providing for our national defense.

In short, that means ensuring America’s men and women in uniform have whatever resources are necessary to complete their missions. We simply cannot take our national defense for granted.

Now…that said, I don’t mean to imply that there’s not a great deal of room for improvement on DoD’s budgetary front. There’s clearly opportunity for savings – particularly in the procurement programs – so I look forward to exploring how the Department might more efficiently meet its critical mission.

But I also want to discuss how this Congress might avoid the growing temptation to raid DoD’s budget for spending on other programs, as resources get tighter.

I’m eager to hear from both Members and witnesses their thoughts on how we can achieve savings in DoD’s budget – without eroding its ability to provide for our nation’s security.