Floor Statement on Critical Need to Replace Military Equipment
MR. REED: Mr. President, our Army and Marines face a critical problem: $47 billion worth of equipment which they have used in Iraq and Afghanistan needs to be repaired and reconditioned. They call it reset recapitalization. We have to do this. This equipment is not new equipment, it is not transformational, it is the equipment they need. I commanded a paratrooper company in the 82nd Airborne Division. I can tell you the worst thing for morale is to have soldiers with poor and inadequate equipment. We owe it to them. My amendment would be the responsible way to do it, pay for it, by taking capital gains cuts that are proposed, dividend cuts and others that are proposed, and other loopholes. It is essentially very simple. Are we going to give a dividend to the wealthiest citizens or are we going to give a dividend to our troops, our soldiers, and marines? And that dividend is equipment that will work, not only today but in the future. This is particularly important for the National Guard. Every one of your National Guard units has equipment they have left overseas or has been run into the ground. If we do not act responsibly--not just act but act responsibly, then we will not be able to assure our soldiers and marines that the equipment they have is the best equipment, that it works, and it will be reconditioned and refit and work in the future. I urge passage of this amendment.