Representative Scott DesJarlais, M.D., a new member of the House Armed Services Committee (HASC), voted to boost troops’ numbers, pay, training, and equipment in the 2017 Defense Appropriations bill that passed the House of Representatives by a wide margin today.
The military funding bill reverses the Obama Administration’s proposed troop reductions and includes $1.6 billion over the previous president’s budget request. President Donald Trump and the new Republican Congress have made rebuilding the U.S. military a centerpiece of their agenda, along with a stronger foreign policy to deter aggression.
“Our troops are overextended, confronting a number of different, dangerous situations from Europe to the Middle East and Asia. Organized, violent terrorism has increased. Russia invaded Eastern Europe, and China has become more assertive in the Pacific, as well as more technologically advanced,” said Rep. Desjarlais (TN-04).
“Weak budget requests, conflicting messages, and a strategy of ‘leading from behind’ has taken its toll over eight years, but we’re correcting course with this bill and other policy changes.”
Rep. DesJarlais serves on the HASC Readiness Subcommittee, overseeing troop preparedness and installations, and explained military branches have sacrificed training, repairs, and fighting strength to continually deploy. Today’s bill adds 1,000 active troops to the Army, National Guard, Reserve and Marine Corps “in order to relieve and restructure units to meet global demands,” said Rep. DesJarlais.
“We’re giving military members and their families greater support. We’re extending a hand to important allies such as Poland and Israel.”