Calvert named House defense approps chair

By Tony Bertuca / January 17, 2023 at 1:08 PM

Rep. Ken Calvert (R-CA) has been named chairman of the House Appropriations defense subcommittee.

“There is no higher priority for Congress than defending the American people and the liberties we hold dear,” he said in a statement. “Serving as the chairman of the House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee is one of the greatest honors of my service to this nation. It is also a role that comes with tremendous responsibilities.”

Calvert said Congress needs to be “wide-eyed” about growing Russian and Chinese military aggression.

“America cannot expect to lead the free world in the decades to come if we are not in the position of being the unquestioned defense superpower we have been for decades,” he said.

But Calvert, who has said he wants to increase defense spending, will be going up against some fiscal hawks in his party who want to cap discretionary spending amounts used in fiscal year 2022. Doing so could mean a $75 billion cut to the Defense Department.

“As Alexander Hamilton once wrote, ‘the circumstances that endanger the safety of nations are infinite.’ Yet, as we know all too well, American tax dollars are very much finite,” he said.

Calvert pledged to “eliminate waste, create efficiencies, and prioritize investments in the tools that will provide the foundation for our defense for decades to come.”

Rep. Kay Granger (R-TX), who will chair the full committee, released a statement saying Calvert has her full support.

“Ken’s tremendous experience and understanding of defense issues will enable him to work together with our subcommittee members to tackle our many national security challenges,” she said. “Ken and I share the belief that we cannot shortchange our men and women in uniform, and that we must invest in the defense priorities that are required to meet a rising China and other potential threats to our security.”