7:52 PM EDT

Norm Dicks, D-WA 6th

Mr. DICKS. I think the gentleman from Illinois brings up a very important issue, and I too look forward to working with the gentleman to ensure that classified data is protected from misuse and theft. Cybersecurity may be the most important defense issue that we face in the coming years. The Department of Defense itself is hit 250,000 times per hour, which is unbelievable, but it's true. And so we need to work on this, and I'm glad the gentleman has taken an interest in this important subject.

7:54 PM EDT

Jeff Flake, R-AZ 6th

Mr. FLAKE. The amendment would reduce each of the Research, Development, Test, and Evaluation accounts by 1 percent, or roughly $730 million below the currently appropriated $73 billion provided in this measure.

Amendments of this sort have been offered to other Defense-related measures recently, though they have attempted to cut amounts far greater than what I am proposing. During one of these debates, the chairman of the Defense Subcommittee made the point that ``if you are going to reduce the defense budget, there ought to be a good reason.'' I agree. And I submit that both the severity of the fiscal situation we face and the consequences of inaction are compelling reasons to reduce the defense budget

along with everything else.

The Appropriations Committee started a positive trend when, during the consideration of appropriations for fiscal year 2011, it reduced the RDT&E accounts below the levels that have been funded in recent years.

I applaud the committee for taking a serious look at these and other accounts and for acting accordingly, but I think we need to do better. We're going to have to get used to cutting defense budgets here if we're going to get our fiscal situation in order.

The defense budget accounts for roughly half of the discretionary spending that is considered during the regular appropriations process during the year. According to the Domenici-Rivlin Commission ``Restoring America's Future,'' RDT&E budgets have increased from $49.2 billion in fiscal year 2001 to $80.2 billion in fiscal year 2010.

So you are seeing an amount of about 80 percent higher now than they were in just 2001. That is a 63 percent increase. I'm getting my math wrong here. That report also suggested reducing the RDT&E budget would ``impose greater discipline in research investments.''

In addition, Gordon Adams of the Stimson Center argues in an essay in Foreign Affairs magazine that the RDT&E budget should be reduced, saying that ``it would be safe to cut it, too, by 19 percent between fiscal year 2012 and fiscal year 2018. Such a reduction would yield $87 billion in savings while keeping the United States' level of military R&D far above any other country.''

I'm not attempting to or suggesting that we make cuts that deep in these accounts with this amendment. I recognize that they have already taken a sizeable hit in fiscal year 11. I also know that my colleagues will come to the floor and tout the values of these accounts. They'll talk about and highlight important successes we've achieved with weapons and other systems that wouldn't have been possible without these accounts. I recognize that.

But if we're all going to have to get used to voting for cuts in defense, cutting 1 percent of the $73 billion made available to RDT&E is far from Draconian and will not preclude any such future successes.

I urge adoption of the amendment.

I yield back the balance of my time.

7:57 PM EDT

Norm Dicks, D-WA 6th

Mr. DICKS. The allocation for the Defense bill has already been reduced [Page: H4739]

by $9 billion. Funding for the research and development title of the bill has been reduced from the 2011 level by nearly $2 billion. Further reductions risk harming critical technology development needed to keep current weapons relevant and needed to develop next generation weapons and technologies required to maintain the U.S. edge in military technologies.

The reduction would adversely affect many systems now in development, including the Joint Strike Fighter, where we certainly do not want to fall behind, advanced submarine development, the long-range strike program, missile defense program, further development of precision weapons systems and many others.

I urge my colleagues to reject this amendment.

7:58 PM EDT

Norm Dicks, D-WA 6th

Mr. DICKS. Last year we were $17 billion below last year, $9 billion this year. So we're making some serious cuts in this budget.