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
Congressman Joe Wilson (SC-02) issued the following statement this morning in recognition of the 11th anniversary of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.
“Eleven years ago today, a group of terrorists declared war on our country by taking the lives of innocent Americans with the hopes of destroying the freedoms that we hold so dear. The memories of the victims whose lives were taken at the Pentagon, the World Trade Center, and the field in rural Shanksville, Pennsylvania by this terrible act of terrorism will never be forgotten.
Earlier this afternoon, Congressman Joe Wilson (SC-02) received The L. Mendel Rivers Award, which was presented to him by the Air Force Sergeants Association. This honor is considered the Association’s “Legislator of the Year” award and is named after the late Congressman L. Mendel Rivers (D-SC), a former Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee. Each year, the Air Force Sergeants Association recognizes a recipient who champions the cause of outstanding service to the Air Force Active Duty, Guard and Reserve.
Today, House Armed Services Subcommittee on Military Personnel Chairman Joe Wilson (SC-02) sent a letter to Defense Secretary Leon Panetta requesting a briefing and explanation from the Department of Defense regarding the reprogramming request of $708 million from the Defense Health Program (DHP) and TRICARE. The Department of Defense has requested to use these funds for “higher priorities”; however, Chairman Wilson, along with 23 other Members of Congress, believes there are serious health issues facing our Armed Services and their families, which should take first priority.
Congressman Joe Wilson (SC-02) issued the following statement after the House passed H.R. 5872, the Sequestration Transparency Act of 2012, by a vote of 414-2.
President Ronald Reagan’s approach to protecting our national security was to provide peace through strength. The United States military has successfully remained the most superior power in the world by practicing this theory. Due to the passage of the Budget Control Act of 2011 last July, the Department of Defense is expected to suffer an automatic across-the-board $500 billion budget cut. These cuts will not be used to reduce our growing national deficit, but instead will be shifted from defense to other departments and agencies.