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One of the main functions of any governing body is to plan for the future, and much of the early part of 2015 in Congress has been focused on just that, especially now that the budget process for Fiscal Year 2016 is underway. Of course, the future is never certain, and that is why I have been consistently calling for proper funding for our military, which has already been forced to undergo serious, disproportionate cuts in recent years. Our military leaders have been sounding the alarm about the impacts of defense cuts on our military’s readiness. As Chairman of the House Armed Services Readiness Subcommittee, I too am determined to make sure my fellow legislators understand the critical nature of this issue.

In private meetings and public hearings this week and in the last few months, I have met with a variety of our service chiefs and combatant commanders, as well as military civilian leadership and the Secretary of Defense. The dangers of serious defense cuts have been reiterated in each of these interactions. Visits to military installations around Virginia, and across the nation and world, have also reinforced my determination to see that our servicemen and women receive the resources their missions require. Just recently, I was fortunate to meet the skilled folks at U.S. Strategic Command at Offutt Air Force Base and gain a more solid understanding of how their important work has powerful impacts across the scope of our military’s operations. I also enjoyed meeting with Virginia midshipmen at the U.S. Naval Academy, and I came away with great comfort in the future of our military’s leaders. It is Congress’ role to ensure that as these midshipmen volunteer to serve their nation, our military is granted the resources necessary to respond to future crises that may arise.  

As the budget process continues, I remain committed to pursuing a funding level for our servicemen and women that is reflective of a sound strategy to face the rising threats around the world. I have long said that our budget must be dictated by strategy, rather than the other way around. I’ve reiterated this principle recently in speeches to a number of audiences who support our national security infrastructure, from those involved with amphibious warships and the submarine industrial base to the precision strike community. These discussions – and many others like them – have enabled healthy exchanges of ideas about our defense capabilities and the needs of our military. I hope that you will also let me know how you feel about this and any other issues that are important to you as the year progresses.

The main streets of Virginia’s First District are full of ideas to get our economy back on track, and your feedback is critically important to me as I serve you. I can be reached by telephone at (202) 225-4261, through my website (, on Facebook (, and via Twitter (



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Yorktown, VA 23690
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