The PJ Tatler

Conservative Caucus Turns Its Focus to Budget Hits on Military Readiness

House Republicans are launching a Military Readiness Task Force in an attempt to battle President Obama’s defense cuts.

The task force within the conservative Republican Study Committee will be chaired by Rep. Rob Wittman (R-Va.).

“The RSC has always stood up for a strong national defense, and we are focused on the threats posed by President Obama’s refusal to address the long-term spending crisis that is jeopardizing the readiness of America’s Armed Forces and the security of our nation,” RSC Chairman Steve Scalise (R-La.) said. “As fiscal conservatives, we have worked to prioritize a strong national defense by shifting sequestration cuts to other parts of the discretionary budget in order to maintain a high level of military readiness.

“We will continue fighting for a balanced federal budget in order to achieve a healthy economy and a strong national defense,” Scalise added.

Wittman, who is chairman of the House Armed Services Committee’s Readiness Subcommittee, “has the expertise, the respect, and the first-hand knowledge” for the task at hand, Scalise said. “I appreciate his passion and leadership at this critical time in America’s history.”

Wittman said he was happy that the caucus of conservatives “has honed its focus on this critical issue as we enter the final phase of discussions on the fiscal footprint for 2014.”

“Members of the RSC have an important role in these discussions and I’m grateful for the opportunity to help educate my colleagues and the nation on the impacts on our national security as our military is continually squeezed during these tight budget times,” he said.

“Our debt and deficit present a national security threat, but how we trim those back is an important conversation. Our military readiness is suffering under the indiscriminate cuts of the sequester. Congress must do everything in its power to mitigate those effects and ensure our men and women of the military are trained and equipped with the tools they need to keep themselves and our country safe.”