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Forbes Leads Letter to House Leadership Requesting Classified Briefing on Military Readiness Prior To Another Round of Sequestration
Washington, D.C., October 8, 2013
Contact: Alex Gray 202-225-6365

Congressman J. Randy Forbes (VA-04), Chairman of the House Armed Services Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee, today sent a bipartisan letter to the leadership of the House of Representatives requesting a high-level classified briefing on military readiness for all Members of Congress prior to another round of sequestration cuts. 

“I am deeply disappointed by the lack of discussion of national defense in the ongoing budget debate. The U.S. military is facing its most serious readiness crisis since the Vietnam War, with the chiefs of all four services declaring that continued sequestration will prevent them from resourcing our national defense strategy,” Congressman Forbes said.

“My letter asks the Republican and Democratic leadership in the House to request a classified briefing for all Members of Congress from the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff before allowing sequestration to continue for another year. Every Member - not just those who sit on defense committees - should have the opportunity to hear firsthand the state of our military and its impact on U.S. national security before making budget decisions that will have a direct impact on America's national interests and the men and women who wear our country’s uniform.”

                                                         October 8, 2013


The Honorable John Boehner                                                  The Honorable Nancy Pelosi

Speaker                                                                                    Minority Leader

H-232, the Capitol                                                                   H-204, the Capitol

Washington D.C. 20515                                                          Washington D.C. 20515


The Honorable Eric Cantor                                                     The Honorable Steny Hoyer

Majority Leader                                                                       Minority Whip

H-329, the Capitol                                                                   H-148, the Capitol

Washington D.C. 20515                                                          Washington D.C. 20515


The Honorable Kevin McCarthy

Majority Whip

H-107, the Capitol

Washington D.C. 20515


Dear Speaker Boehner, Leaders Cantor and Pelosi, and Whips McCarthy and Hoyer: 

            On September 18, the House Armed Services Committee heard testimony from the Joint Chiefs of Staff that they do not have the capabilities to meet the requirements necessary to comply with the Defense Strategic Guidance of 2012, which already had reduced the two-decade-old standard previously set for our military. The uniformed leadership of the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps warned that should we continue these devastating cuts for another year, the services will simply be unable to execute the missions our national defense strategy requires. This means potentially abandoning core U.S. interests or placing our men and women in uniform in the unacceptable position of attempting to execute missions with woefully inadequate resources and training.

            When asked whether their service can meet the requirements necessary if we continue sequestration the way it is currently moving forward, all four service chiefs - General Odierno, Admiral Greenert, General Welsh, and General Amos - said “no.”

            The Committee has received one frightening briefing after another; however, only a fraction of the Members of this body are aware of the full impact that cuts to our national defense will have on the security the country, and readiness of our Armed Services.

            We understand and fully appreciate that as our leaders, you are navigating how to best address our nation’s current fiscal challenges.  As such, we believe it is critical that the current state of our military readiness be understood by the entirety of the House of Representatives before we conclude our debate on the debt ceiling.  Therefore, we ask that you hold a joint, classified briefing with Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, General Martin Dempsey, and the Joint Chiefs, so that each of you and all Members are afforded the opportunity to hear first-hand, the grave danger to the national security of the United States that is being caused by absent defense funding. 


J. Randy Forbes

Member of Congress

Joe Wilson

Member of Congress

Mike McIntyre

Member of Congress

Jeff Miller

Member of Congress

Bill Shuster

Member of Congress

Doug Lamborn

Member of Congress

Mike Turner

Member of Congress

Rob Wittman

Member of Congress

Mike Rogers

Member of Congress

Trent Franks

Member of Congress

Mike Conaway

Member of Congress

Austin Scott

Member of Congress

Duncan Hunter

Member of Congress

Jim Bridenstine

Member of Congress

Paul Cook

Member of Congress


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