The Second District of South Carolina has a rich military tradition with bases in and around the Midlands and Aiken-Barnwell communities. These include Fort Jackson in Columbia which is directly located inside the District; and Shaw Air Force Base in Sumter and Fort Gordon in Augusta, GA, both of which lie just outside the District with many of its personnel living in the Second District. We are proud of our troops and the support they enjoy within South Carolina, and are eternally thankful for their selfless devotion to protecting the American people.
As the father of four sons currently serving in the military and a 31-year veteran of the South Carolina Army National Guard and Reserves, I have always been an enthusiastic and ardent supporter of our brave men and women in uniform. As Chairman of the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Readiness and a member of the House Committee on Armed Services, I am very grateful to have the opportunity to work on the national security challenges our nation faces.
After our country was attacked on September 11, 2001, we woke up in a new era of conflict where our service members are now working throughout the world to prevent additional acts of terrorism against the American people and our country's interests. U.S. troops risk their lives daily, in Afghanistan and beyond, as they face terrorists abroad so that we do not have to face them on the streets of America.
Due to the passage of the Budget Control Act of 2011, the Department of Defense is expected to suffer an automatic across-the-board $500 billion budget cut over 10 years, also known as Sequestration. These cuts will not be used to reduce our growing national deficit, but instead will be shifted from defense to other departments and agencies. Not only will these cuts threaten our national security, military strength, and defense capabilities, it will also destroy approximately one million jobs across our country while sending a message to enemies we lack resolve to resist their attacks.
From day one, I have made my opposition to Sequestration very clear. We MUST replace the impending cuts to our defense by cutting other unnecessary, government over-reaching programs that are not in place to protect our national security. I believe it is Congress' Constitutional responsibility to ensure our troops receive the best resources available to keep them safe at home and abroad. We must ensure that there is no interruption or restriction of funding for American troops in combat zones.
The United States military has successfully remained the most superior power in the world by practicing President Ronald Reagan’s national security approach of providing peace through strength. It is no accident America has not been attacked in more than a decade. No matter the legislation before me, I will always fight to make sure our military has the equipment and funding they need to do the job we have asked of them, which is to keep the American people safe from foreign threats.
More on National Security
House Armed Services Subcommittee on Military Personnel Chairman Joe Wilson (SC-02) made the following statement as prepared for delivery on the House floor regarding the Conference Report on H.R. 4310—National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013:
Congressman Joe Wilson (SC-02) issued the following statement in regards to the violence in the Middle East aimed at Israel:
Wilson stated, "The escalating conflict in the Middle East between Hamas and Israel is a result of ongoing attacks in which Hamas indiscriminately targets Israeli civilians with rockets and mortars. Israel, our most valued Ally in the region, has a right to defend herself against these threats. The United States will continue to stand by Israel and the Israeli people, just as we have done since her founding in 1948.
Last Saturday, October 20, 2012, The State published a story written by the Associated Press entitled GOP pounces on Libya raid confusion. Within the article, the authors stated, “And Republicans have offered no explanation for why the president would want to conceal the nature of the attack.” This statement could not be further from the truth.
Over the last three and a half years, our country has watched as President Obama's failed policies have not provided the hope and change promised when he was sworn into office. Our national debt has reached a threatening $16 trillion. American families continue to struggle to independently provide for their families and median household income has declined 4.8 percent since June 2009. College tuitions remain subject to rapid increases, hindering our youth from furthering their education.
Last week, I discovered one of the most corrupt acts I have seen while serving in public office: The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) issued a memorandum, advising defense contractors that if they failed to comply with existing law, taxpayers would pay any resulting employee compensation costs and attorneys’ fees incurred. Instead of notifying defense contractors that they must abide by the laws set in place to protect American families, the administration has advised and encouraged these companies to break the law without penalty. Does that sound unbelievable to you?