Last week, the president unveiled the largest defense base budget request in the history of the Pentagon, blowing right past the sequestration caps. This can only mean one thing: tough choices lie ahead for Congress.
That’s why we didn’t waste any time getting up to Capitol Hill to help Congress weigh those difficult decisions and begin the unenviable task of trimming down the president’s request. On Thursday February 5, we at the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation hosted our annual briefings in the House of Representatives and in the Senate to recommend smart cuts that would improve our national security and reap enormous savings.
In both briefings, we had a dynamic panel of speakers from across the political spectrum, as well as a full, engaged audience. Center executive director Angela Canterbury kicked things off as moderator, followed by the Center’s policy director Laicie Heeley, who presented her annual Defense Budget Briefing Book (available on our website). We were fortunate enough to also feature William Hartung, Director of the Common Defense Campaign at the Center for International Policy, and Pete Sepp, President of the National Taxpayers Union, a fiscally conservative organization dedicated to working for lower taxes and smaller government.
Watch a short clip of our House briefing:
Watch a short clip of our Senate briefing, in which Laicie Heeley discusses the president’s request and the Overseas Contingency Operations account:
Stay tuned for more as we try to inform Congress and work with them where we can to rein in profligate spending at the Pentagon. As Lt. Gen. Gard, chair of our sister research organization put it, “Priorities must be established to limit defense expenditures in order to provide adequate investments in essential non-military aspects of our national strength.”