Why it matters: The federal government’s number one responsibility is to protect the American people from the multitude of threats our nation faces. Arkansas, with its rich military heritage, continues to play a key role in that vital effort. Congress has an obligation to ensure that the men and women who serve our nation have everything they need to complete their missions safely and successfully.
Where I stand: There are numerous threats to U.S. security that cannot be ignored. Our senior military leaders have warned of the technological advancements being made by adversaries like Russia and China, whose international actions have demonstrated their intent to challenge our leadership. We also face threats from rogue nations like North Korea and Iran. As we have seen from the last two decades of war, we must be able to counter the threat posed by terrorist organizations whenever and wherever they may be. The men and women of our armed forces must be ready for today’s challenges while preparing to counter tomorrow’s threats.
Chronic budget uncertainty has allowed our adversaries to gain a strategic advantage by failing to ensure the Department of Defense (DoD) has the necessary resources for manpower, training and purchasing purposes. The broken budget process has further exacerbated our military’s readiness, constrained services’ ability to plan with any certainty and forced DoD to spend more to do less. Congress must do a better job of deciding how taxpayer dollars are spent so our military leaders can confront today’s threats head-on while planning for the future.
I am committed to using my role as the chairman of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Military Construction, Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies—as well as my seat on the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense—to right the ship. I will work to ensure that Arkansas’s military instillations—including Little Rock Air Force Base, Camp Robinson, Ebbing Air National Guard Base, Fort Chaffee and Pine Bluff Arsenal—remain ahead of the curve in the effort to modernize.