Defense hawks introduced legislation on Thursday that would end troop cuts for the Army and Marine Corps.
The bill, introduced by Rep. Mike Turner (R-Ohio) and Chris Gibson (R-N.Y.), comes two days after the administration released its 2017 budget request that includes reducing the Army to 460,000 active duty forces by the end of next year.
Turner and Gibson say those numbers are too low, and they want to halt the action so that the next president will have more flexibility for dealing with future threats.
“To put it into perspective, when you look at land forces, the day before the 11th of September, 2001, you were looking at essentially for the active component, 480,000, almost 481,000,” Gibson said, referring to the Army’s levels.
“But these plans, the administration right now plans to take it all the way down to 450,000 in the active component and 335,000 in the National Guard, and the same with the Army Reserve, I think they’re taking it down too low,” he added.
“It is clear from all the testimony we’ve received and from the information we’ve received from the Army that this could break the Army,” Turner, chairman of the House Armed Services subcommittee on land and air forces, told reporters.
“That this could significantly hamper the next president of the United States in their opportunities and capabilities for our military to protect the country,” he said.
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