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Rep. Mike Turner to Trump: Cuts to defense spending would be ‘disastrous’

Congressman Michael Turner, Chairman of the House Armed Services Tactical Air and Land Forces Subcommittee, provides remarks during the ribbon cutting ceremony for the new foreign materiel exploitation facility here, Oct. 20, 2017. (Senior Airman Jonathan Stefanko/U.S. Air Force)

Congressman Mike Turner (OH-10) and other House members are urging President Trump to uphold the administration’s commitment of $733 billion for the Department of Defense.

Turner, who chairs the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Tactical Air and Land Forces, led House members in signing a letter to Trump as the administration finalizes the fiscal year 2020 President’s Budget. The letter currently has 70 signatures, and it will be sent to Trump by the end of next week.

“President Trump cannot claim he is rebuilding our military while cutting the funds necessary to do so. We’ve seen the devastating effects on readiness when our military is forced to make arbitrary cuts as our adversaries continue to aggressively invest in their national security operations,” Turner said.

The letter states that “cuts to defense spending will have disastrous consequences for our military readiness, as was proven by sequestration.”

The letter is also signed by Ohio’s Rep. Brad Wenstrup (OH-2), Rep. Steve Stivers (OH-15), Rep. Bob Gibbs (OH-7) and Rep. Bill Johnson (OH-6).

U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Jim Inhofe and House Armed Services Committee Chairman Mac Thornberry held a meeting on Tuesday to discuss the administration’s 2020 budget submission, The Washington Post reported.

On Monday, Trump sent a tweet on Monday, calling the $716 billion defense budget “crazy.”

Here is the text of the full letter:

Dear Mr. President,

We, the undersigned, strongly urge you to uphold your commitment of $733 billion to restore our nation’s military as you complete the fiscal year 2020 President’s Budget. Cuts to defense spending will have disastrous consequences for our military readiness, as was proven by sequestration. Recently, the Congressionally-directed Commission on the National Defense Strategy warned: 

“America’s ability to defend its allies, its partners, and its own vital interests is increasingly in doubt. If the nation does not act promptly to remedy these circumstances, the consequences will be grave and lasting.” 

This erosion of American military strength is a direct result of the Obama Administration’s sequestration. Since sequestration went into effect, dwindling resources have negatively affected our servicemembers and military readiness. Our military has shouldered the burden of this harmful and failed political budgetary tactic, and it has had severe consequences for our national security. 

To remedy this, Congress authorized and appropriated $716 billion and $700 billion for the current and last fiscal years, respectively. We must continue to adequately fund the military and allow for responsible growth to protect our national interests at home and abroad.

A core tenant of your agenda has been renewing American’s military strength. In August, you remarked:

“The National Defense Authorization Act is the most significant investment in our military and our warfighters in modern history. We are going to strengthen our military like never ever before and that’s what we did.”

Furthermore, the National Security Strategy states:

“We are making historic investments in the United States military…The whole world is lifted by America’s renewal and the reemergence of American leadership.”

Our nation and the world are safer when America’s military is preeminent. We cannot afford to repeat past mistakes. We encourage you to join with us and build a stable future for our armed forces.


© 2018 the Dayton Daily News (Dayton, Ohio)

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.