WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Congressman Mark Pocan (WI-02), Co-Chair and co-founder of the Defense Spending Reduction Caucus spoke on the House Floor on his amendment to the FY2023 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that would cut the Pentagon’s budget by $100 billion.

Rep. Mark Pocan
June, 21 2022
Floor Remarks on NDAA Amendment
Remarks as Delivered

I rise today in support of our amendment to reduce the Pentagon’s budget.

First, let me thank Congresswoman Lee for your partnership on this issue, and thank you for securing our nation always by pursuing peace first. Thank you.

839.3 billion dollars – the amount of the defense spending authorized by this bill before we include anything of up to 650 amendments this week – is too much with too little accountability.

We already spend more on defense than China, India, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Japan, and South Korea combined.

It’s more than double the amount of funding that the EPA, Health and Human Services, Departments of Education, Energy, Commerce, State, Housing & Urban Development, and Agriculture all receive – combined.

This bill also goes above and beyond what the Department of Defense asked for in its budget request submitted to Congress.

And yet the Department of Defense still can’t pass an audit of the funding it receives – a requirement of virtually every other agency.

Let’s stop rewarding the building of amphibious vehicles that sink, unready projects like the F-35 that still have hundreds and hundreds of recognized deficiencies that have not been addressed, and Ford Class Aircraft Carriers that have toilets that cost 400 [thousand] dollars in chemicals to flush when clogged.

Yes, we flush defense dollars down the toilet.

Let’s fix this.

At some point, spending doesn’t actually make you safer, it’s security theater and contractor profiteering.

We need a more modern definition of defense – one that recognizes real national security threats like COVID, cyber attacks, and climate change. But the current defense budget doesn’t do that.

I urge all of my colleagues to support this amendment, and I yield back the balance of my time.

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