Hoeven Responds to President's Defense Budget Cuts

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven released the following statement today in response to the President’s proposed defense budget cuts:

“Getting our fiscal house in order will require sacrifice by all of us; however, high priority must be given to ensuring a strong and capable national defense. For example, I am encouraged that the Pentagon is supporting the retention of all three legs of the nuclear triad. At the same time, it is important that ongoing White House review of nuclear deterrence emphasizes the need to preserve and modernize the triad and also recognizes that we should not make unilateral reductions in our nuclear forces.

“In some other areas the Administration’s proposal is not acceptable. For example, in December, Congress authorized and appropriated funds for the C-27J Spartan cargo aircraft program, including funding for aircraft that will go to the North Dakota Air National Guard. That needs to go forward, and I will continue to work in Congress, with the other members of the delegation, to see that it does. 

“Also, although it should not affect Grand Forks Air Force Base, which hosts Global Hawk Block 20 and Block 40 missions, the Administration has recommended cutting the Global Hawk Block 30 program. Last year, the Department of Defense told Congress that these aircraft are essential to national security and the most cost-effective platform to perform its intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance mission, rather than continuing to rely on the much older U-2 aircraft.

 “In addition, the Administration’s proposal calls for a new BRAC round (Base Realignment and Closure). Having gone through this process as governor, I am skeptical that it is the best way to prioritize and reduce Department of Defense spending. Instead, I believe the Department of Defense should work directly with Congress to find the most cost-effective way to reduce spending, while maintaining our nation’s defense. Also, the Pentagon needs to look at reducing overseas basing costs before closing bases at home. 

“The Administration has put forward its budget and it is now Congress’ job to prioritize our spending, find savings and work with the Department of Defense to maintain a strong defense for our nation.”