WASHINGTON, May 21, 2014 ? Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel stands firmly behind tough budget choices made in the 2015 Fiscal Year Defense Budget request as lawmakers return to Washington to take up defense spending.
Speaking to reporters today, Pentagon press secretary Navy Rear Adm. John Kirby affirmed the defense secretary?s appreciation for Congress moving forward with its consideration of the budget proposal.
?As you know, the full House of Representatives and the Senate Armed Services Committee are considering their defense authorization measures for fiscal year ?15 this week,? he said.
?Secretary Hagel appreciates the efforts of leaders in both chambers to move forward with this critical legislation,? Kirby said. ?He believes that it?s important for the ideas and proposals put forward by the Defense Department in the president?s budget are subject to a full and vigorous debate.?
The admiral said Hagel knows this debate is just the beginning.
?He stands firmly behind the tough decisions that were made in that budget proposal — decisions that he believes are necessary to preserve our military edge in a very difficult fiscal environment,? Kirby said.
Given the importance of the budget proposal, Kirby said he believes ?you?ll be hearing more from the secretary and other senior leaders in the department on this in the weeks and months to come.?