Rep. Hunter: 'People Are Dying' Because Congress Isn't Giving the Military What It Needs
Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.) called out Congress for a lack of progress in passing a long-term budget deal, which has left the U.S. military operating under stopgap spending.
"You have ships that are crashing, you have planes falling out of the sky and you have people dying because this Congress doesn't understand national security," Hunter, a Marine veteran and member of the House Armed Services Committee, said on "America's Newsroom" on Tuesday.
He said the lack of necessary funding puts U.S. servicemen and women in greater danger, not only overseas but also on the home front.
"All of our good gear is going overseas and our bad gear is staying here to train on. And now you're having training accidents that are much more deadly than going to war," Hunter said. "So it's literally more dangerous to train in San Diego at Camp Pendleton right now than it is for me to go to Kabul, Afghanistan."
He said the lawmakers who are dragging their feet on a budget deal need to remember their number one priority to the American people: national security.
"If they can do that, then everything else falls into place, including immigration," Hunter said.
He noted that the House on Tuesday night approved a stopgap spending bill to run the government through March 23 and bolster defense funding for the full year.
"We'll see if the Senate likes that. My guess is they're going to pull that out, and they're going to send us back a bill that puts the defense of this nation again on a continuing resolution," Hunter said. "The Senate simply needs to do its job. I understand they're old and they don't like to do things very often. They need to do their job now when it comes to national security."
During a House Armed Services Committee hearing on Tuesday, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis called on Congress to pass the House budget proposal and provide the Pentagon with stable funding.
“With it, we can restore the competitive advantage or begin down the trail of restoring the competitive advantage that has been eroded,” Mattis said. “Without it, we will be put into the position where the strategy would have to be changed and we would have to accept greater risk, especially in terms of deterring adversaries who might think we are weaker because they register where our readiness is being eroded.”
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