Markey: Republican Defense Budget Comes from Fantasyland

Statement of Congressman Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) on H.R. 5856, FY 2013 Defense Department Appropriations Bill
Wednesday, July 18, 2012


“In this Republican Fantasyland we have gold-plated nuclear weapons systems that have long outlived their usefulness are lavished with canyons filled with cash.

“In this Fantasyland, the Cold War never ended.  The Soviet menace lives on, making it necessary to maintain vast stockpiles of nuclear weapons and build new bombers to penetrate the Iron Curtain.

“In this Fantasyland, there are mountains of money for intercontinental ballistic missiles, towering over the landscape and providing shade and comfort to the legions of defense contractors making nuclear weapons we no longer need and cannot afford.

“In this Fantasyland, Republicans want to retroactively re-fight the Cold War that we won!  This makes no sense.

“Mr. Speaker, it is time to get real.  Sequestration is coming. Republicans in their budget are ignoring the doomsday clock that has nearly reached midnight for millions of hard-working Americans. We must prepare for this reality.

“The bill Republicans have brought to the floor today provides the Pentagon with a billion dollars more than this year’s spending level and three billion more than the Obama administration requested!

“Despite sequestration, despite budget pressures, despite the fragility of the economy, Republicans still want to increase defense spending! 

“Why? To pay for more radioactive relics of the past that we no longer need to protect our country.

“But I have good news for my friends on the other side of the aisle. The Cold War ended more than 20 years ago.  The Soviet Union crumbled!  It’s OK to stop funding weapons to perpetuate a Cold War rivalry that has disappeared into the mists of history.

“We don’t have to buy into this insanity. That is why I plan to offer several sane amendments to reduce Pentagon spending on unnecessary, outdated nuclear weapons programs.

“Sequestration requires $1 trillion in cuts affecting both domestic and defense programs.  This Republican Fantasyland would be a nightmare for Grandma and millions of middle-class Americans. 

“If sequestration kicks in or cuts to defense are cancelled, it would shift even more of the burden on domestic programs.

“The doomsday that Americans fear in the 21st century isn’t being vaporized by a nuclear bomb – it’s the doomsday diagnosis of Alzheimer's, Parkinson’s or cancer.

“Somewhere Dr. Strangelove is smiling from the grave while millions of American families struggle to make ends meet.   

“When it comes to the budget, we can’t simply wish upon a star. It’s time to leave Fantasyland and return to reality.

“I urge my colleagues to support my amendments to this bill.”