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Maintaining a strong national defense

Leaders deciding how our country can maintain a strong national defense despite sequestration spoke in Amarillo.

The defense budget has $50 billion less this year to protect everyone in the US. District 13 Congressman Mac Thornberry, also Vice Chair of the House Armed Services Committee, says he supports bills that would not cut from national defense. He says, "Give more flexibility on how that lesser amount of money would be spent. And generally that has worked to help at least to not make the effects quite as traumatic."

The House recently passed a budget that would put the money taken out from the significant budget cuts back into defense. Congressman and Chair of House Armed Services Committee Howard Buck McKeon says, "Put much of the sequestration money back in for the next nine years going forward starting with this next fiscal year that we'll work on. If we're able to hold those savings from the defense, that will be very important."

Thornberry says, "That is critical of course for our safety, but also for our economy. Something like 90-95% of the goods that travel around the world, travel on the oceans. A strong Navy to make sure that those goods can travel." He says employees at Pantex and Bell Helicopter should be keeping their jobs. And furloughs are not in sight at Pantex for this fiscal year.

He adds the V-22 program is essential in fulfilling various missions. Thornberry says, "Folks in Amarillo have worked hard and worked efficiently to make sure it was on time, on budget, and being produced as the military asks. And that makes it a whole lot easier for me to defend in Washington."

Jessica Abuchaibe, NewsChannel 10.

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