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Garcia: ‘Now is not the time to scale back our investments in our military’

Speaks with Dana Perino on Fox News

Click here or on the image above to watch the full interview

– Today, Representative Mike Garcia (CA-25) appeared on Fox News’s America’s Newsroom and spoke to Dana Perino about the national security implications of cutting the U.S. budget for the Department of Defense. The interview comes after President Biden released his proposed budget for the Fiscal Year 2022, which includes cuts to the nation’s traditional defense budget. 

“This is ominous stuff,” said Garcia. “As a former Naval Aviator and a former operator in combat operations, I've seen what sequestration and the Budget Control Act did to readiness and modernization programs.”

Garcia explained that President Biden’s proposed budget is effectively flat since inflation is about to pick up. Specifically, he noted the concerning removal of the entire budget for the Overseas Contingency Operation (OCO). OCO funding provides the ability for the U.S. Military to obtain the technology necessary to close the gaps America has relative to nations like Russia and China. 

“When you combine this budget request with what's going on around the globe, this is really frightening stuff we're looking at here,” said Garcia.

He continued, highlighting the many national security issues America currently faces including the crisis at the border, and rising threats in the Middle East, Europe, and Asia. 

“Now is not the time to scale back our investments in our military,” said Garcia. 

When Garcia was asked about the impact of cuts to traditional defense spending while China, an adversary, continues to play the long game in defense, he said that such spending cuts will hurt our nation’s security.

“It is a huge impact on the war firefighter. It will hurt us on the readiness front and will certainly hurt us on the modernization front when we have China who hasn't slowed down and continues to outpace us. We're extremely vulnerable now in several domains as a result of this,” said Garcia. 

When asked if the Republicans have a way to do something better on defense, Garcia said yes. He said that as the budget comes through the relative committees, such as the House Appropriations Committee, Congress needs the military to come in and testify as to how defense budget cuts will impact the services, not only the readiness but future-readiness.

“We need to advocate for the services and make sure we are getting our troops whole. It is hard to believe but it has been 20 years since 9/11. The Global War on Terror has taken its toll. We have had troops that have taken multiple deployments and our equipment has been run into the ground. We started to get better in the last four years under the previous administration, but this is a 10-year problem and we certainly can't stop at this point investing in our military,” said Garcia. 

Garcia concluded that now is the time to support our nation’s military.

“The biggest takeaway is that a nation has never been vulnerable or attacked because we were too strong. This is the opposite of Reagan's peace through strength. Right now, we need to be paying attention to our military readiness and modernization,” said Garcia. 

Garcia serves on the House Appropriations Committee and is a former U.S. Navy Fighter Pilot who flew over 30 combat missions during Operation Iraqi Freedom in the skies above Baghdad, Fallujah, and Tikrit.

You can watch the full interview here.