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Cole Says Majority's Budget Proposal Undermines National Defense

April 2, 2009

WASHINGTON – Congressman Tom Cole (OK-04) made the following remarks on the House floor last night opposing the Majority's budget proposal.

"Mr. COLE: I thank the gentleman for yielding. And, Madam Chair, I rise to oppose this Democratic budget. As we have heard repeatedly tonight, it spends too much, it taxes too much, and it borrows too much.

But I want to be fair to my friends on the Democratic side. There is one area of the budget where there is a glaring exception to that rule, and that is the defense of the United States of America.

Over the course of a 10-year projected Obama budget, we will move from 20 percent of the Federal budget down to 14 percent devoted to defending the country. We will move from just over 4 percent of the gross national product to 3 percent to defend the United States of America. We will risk canceling major weapons systems, like the future combat system, a tanker that will help us project air power around the world and missile defense, at a time when the North Koreans and the Iranians are developing missiles. That risks jobs, that risks security. That is reckless in a dangerous world.

That is not just my opinion, Madam Chairman. Let me read from Robert Samuelson's recent article, 'Obama, the Great Pretender.'

'It would be responsible for Obama to acknowledge the big gamble in his budget. National security has long been government's first job. In his budget, defense spending drops from 20 percent to 14 percent of the total from 2008 to 2016, the smallest share since the 1930s. The decline presumes a much safer world. If the world doesn't cooperate, deficits will grow.'

More importantly, American soldiers and American security will be at risk, Madam Chairman. So let's reject this budget because it does spend too much, it does borrow too much, it does tax too much. And let's embrace the Republican alternative which spends less, borrows less, taxes less, but, most importantly, puts more resources where it counts, defending the United States of America.