From: “Global Network” <email@example.com>—– Original Message —–From: Senator Angus King
The purpose of the Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) budget is to provide the Department of Defense with funding in times of war. Our nation’s base defense budget ensures that our armed forces remain up-to-date, technologically advanced, and prepared to meet any challenge they face. OCO funding allows the Department of Defense to maintain this edge without sacrificing the safety, integrity, or superiority of our men and women in uniform when they are called into duty. As the conflict in Afghanistan winds down, levels of OCO funding have decreased. The tentative level of OCO funding in this year’s budget—$79 billion—is $8 billion less than 2013 funding and $108 billion less than the wartime high of $186.9 billion in 2008. Though the President plans on ending the conflict in Afghanistan by the end of 2014, it is imperative that we continue to supply the best equipment and support possible for those service men and women while they are risking their lives abroad. We will likely need to continue OCO funding for several years after the end of the Afghanistan war in order to reset the military after over a decade of continuous conflict.
The budget challenges confronting our country are significant, and smart targeted budget cuts will comprise part of a responsible path toward debt stabilization. However, I believe that incorporating OCO funding into the base defense budget is not the way to do this. Placing OCO within the current sequestered budget would likely have a negative impact on the people of Maine. I believe sequestration has already forced the Pentagon to trim too much from its base budget. Cuts threaten Maine industries like Bath Iron Works and Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, hurting Maine families and smaller employers that depend upon those companies and other defense contractors for their livelihoods. Incorporating OCO funding into the base Pentagon budget would serve only to constrain these allocations further. I share your deep concerns about our country’s fiscal state and am working with my Senate colleagues to develop a responsible plan that will replace sequestration and protect middle-class Maine workers and their families.
Thank you again for your message; please feel free to contact me in the future if I could be of service to you on other matters.
ANGUS S. KING, JR.
United States Senator
I am not able to read or respond to replies to this address. If you would like to be in contact with me further, please do not reply to this message, but instead go tohttp://www.king.senate.gov/contact. And, if you’re ever in Washington D.C. when the Senate is in session, please stop by my Capitol Coffee hour from 9-10 AM on Wednesdays in Dirksen 359. Thanks, Angus.
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