Jun 13, 2017
Defense Drumbeat

Last night, Secretary of Defense James Mattis and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff testified before the House Armed Services Committee.
Here are SIX Key Takeways:
1.     If Congress increases the defense budget, the President will "be in your corner..."

2.     Secretary Mattis was "shocked" upon his return to the Pentagon by the poor state of the U.S. military's readiness. - Washington Times
3.     The DOD will be ready to be audited next year. - Politico      

Mr. Norquist, DOD Comptroller said, "Yes, we will have the Department -- all the major elements of the Department under audit in -- in 2018...we have every expectation to be fully compliant and fully under audit."
4.     Secretary Mattis does not have confidence in DOD BRAC assessments, wants to review the data on excess capacity:
After Rep. Conaway noted that there are enormous expenses required to implement BRAC, suggesting “that while it takes a long time to recoup those dollars, there may very well be things other than dollars and cents that would lead us to… make some of those hard decisions.”
In part, Secretary Mattis responded by saying, “I am not comfortable right now that we have a full 20 some percent excess.  I need to go back through and look at this again because I don't want to, you know, get rid of something or come to you with something that we can't sustain and then we try to say we got to buy some land here in 10 years.”
5.     I agree with every one of the unfunded requirements.

Rep. Wilson: "Secretary Mattis, we don't want to give you a hollow force, but if we're going to do more, do you need more soldiers?"

Secretary Mattis: "I believe we do. I don't take any issue with the unfunded priorities list as far as the requirement... If there is more money available, then I think that it's a pretty good list -- Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines."

6.     Congress must repeal the Budget Control Act, saying "no enemy in the field has done more to harm the combat readiness of our military than sequestration." - The Hill

115th Congress