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McKeon expresses concern with defense spending

Posted: April 23, 2014 4:11 p.m.
Updated: April 23, 2014 4:11 p.m.

Rep. Howard "Buck" McKeon, R-Santa Clarita, sits for an interview with the Signal on Wednesday. Signal photo by Charlie Kaijo.


Time may be winding down on his tenure in Congress, but Rep. Howard “Buck” McKeon, R-Santa Clarita, said Wednesday he remains concerned about the state of the nation’s defense spending.

“Our military is being hollowed out as we speak,” McKeon said.

During a meeting with The Signal Editorial Board on Wednesday, McKeon said he believes America’s standing in the world has been diminished as defense spending has been reduced.

“I’ve been really concerned about what we’re doing to our national security, our defense, and what it’s doing to our position around the world,” McKeon said. “We’ve had such a rapid decline that it is just incredible.”

At the end of the year McKeon will step away from the congressional seat he has held for more than two decades, but he said Wednesday he will remain focused on continuing to advocate for defense.

“I’ll continue to fight for defense every opportunity I get,” he said. “I tell people, ‘I’m leaving Congress, I’m not leaving the fight.’”

Another major and related goal for the duration of his term is passage of the National Defense Authorization Act — a federal law that outlines the budget and expenditures for the Department of Defense “and the national security programs of the Department of Energy,” according to the website for the House Armed Services Committee.

McKeon, who is the chairman of that committee, said he was concerned about how the bill might come together this year, saying it could run into delays in the Senate or as a result of the congressional elections in November.

“I’m really concerned about the NDAA this year,” he said. “That’s important. I’ll be pushing hard on that.”

While his retirement is fast approaching, McKeon said he’s not sitting back and counting the days he has left.

“You know, people tell me, ‘Do you enjoy your retirement?’ and I say that I’m not retired, I’ve still got a lot of work to do,” McKeon said.
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