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Wittman's Weekly: My Priorities on HASC

We stand at a critical juncture in our nation’s history. We are about to decide if the United States retains its global primacy or if we concede our position to those of malign intent. In such pivotal times, it is a sincere honor to announce I have been named the Vice Ranking Member of the House Armed Services Committee.

It is no secret the United States is preparing for global military competition with China. There is no other Member of the Armed Services Committee who has done more to ensure our Department of Defense and warfighters are ready for this potential conflict than I have. I believe in peace through deterrence. But if we are to succeed in that endeavor, we must have the capability and capacity to deliver force where needed.

As the previous Chairman and current Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Seapower and Projection Forces, and previously as Chairman of the Subcommittee on Readiness and the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, I have always been a prominent voice for strong and principled conservative defense policy. I have traveled to the major Areas of Responsibility (AOR) to hear the issues facing our Combatant Commanders, spoken with the junior enlisted on the ground, and worked with the leaders in the Pentagon to make sure we are prepared for current and future challenges.

Preparing for those challenges must remain a priority. The Constitution enumerates providing for the common defense as Congress’s first responsibility. The House Armed Services Committee leads our chamber’s efforts to fulfill that duty. As the committee’s Vice Ranking Member, it is a privilege to help guide us towards a strong national defense anchoring global stability throughout the world.

Bringing stability to the globe and protecting our homeland comes at a necessary price—it requires robust funding for the Department of Defense. In my new role, I remain dedicated to securing reliable, sustainable, and on-time funding for our national defense so that our brave men and women in uniform have the resources they need to carry out their missions. But securing the funding is not enough - we must also be sure it is spent efficiently and effectively.

As someone who has spent their entire tenure in Congress working to streamline the Department of Defense, I know there are current redundancies and excesses within the system. We must continue regular audits of the Pentagon, to root out waste, find duplicative programs, and streamline wherever we can. By doing so, we will save billions. After identifying that wasteful spending, we can then use those funds for more productive purposes elsewhere.

History is clear. A strong national defense is our greatest means of securing peace. Now is the time to secure that peace, and now is also the time to ready ourselves should it fail. It has always been a privilege to fight for our warfighters, and it will continue to be a privilege as Vice Ranking Member of the House Armed Services Committee.