Magazine article National Defense

Congressman Tells Military Services to Be More Candid about Funding

Magazine article National Defense

Congressman Tells Military Services to Be More Candid about Funding

Article excerpt

If Congress decides to fund new domestic programs, the defense budget would become a "big target" for cuts, said Congressman Jim Gibbons, R-Nev, who is a member of the House Armed Services Committee.

Spending on social programs is the Pentagon's biggest competition, Gibbons said at a Washington, D.C.-based seminar, which was sponsored by DFI International.

"The budget realities are complex," said Gibbons. "When you look at discretionary spending vs. non-discretionary spending, the Defense Department budget is representing probably about one-fourth of the annual budget of the United States. But it is the only side of the budget from which there can be a reduction to fund better, bigger social programs.

"[The Defense budget is] probably the big target right now," he said. "And as [Congress] attempts to reinvigorate the military, modernize and put that money back into the services, we often find it competing with social agenda issues.

"And that makes [Congress's] job that much more difficult. Especially when you look at the historical perspective of the world we're in, it does not appear there are serious threats from a general standpoint, after the Cold War, to the United States. …

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