From the office of Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R, ILL)...
Washington, D.C. - Today, Congressman Adam Kinzinger (IL-11), a pilot in the Air National Guard, offered an amendment to H.R. 1540, the National Defense Authorization Act on the House floor that saves taxpayers nearly $100 million over seven years which would otherwise be used to "research, develop and manufacture" a new flight suit that is not urgently needed by the Air Force, particularly in this budget environment. Kinzinger's amendment passed the House by a voice vote.
"Make no mistake, I am a strong supporter of the military and ensuring that our military is the best equipped in the world," said Kinzinger. "However, we must make tough decisions with regard to military needs and military wants. More than ever, given the difficult budget environment we are in, we must be diligent and prioritize the allocation of taxpayer's dollars." General Schwartz, the Chief of Staff of the Air Force, also stated that now is not the right time to develop a new flight suit. On February 17th, 2011, at the hearing for the 2012 Budget Request for the Department of the Air Force, General Schwartz was asked by Congressman Tim Griffin, at Kinzinger's request, whether the Air Force was developing a new flight suit. General Schwartz stated, "We are not in the business of redesigning our flight suit under the current circumstances."
"I agree with General Schwartz and believe we must work together to ensure that money we do not have is not spent on government programs we do not need," echoed Kinzinger. "We must cut this program particularly given the Air Force's own admission that it is not needed in light of our 'current circumstances.' This is the type of spending restraint that the American people have sent me and many of my colleagues to Washington to carry out.
"Washington's spending spree is over. American families are tightening their belts and I am determined to make sure Washington does too."
Prior to Kinzinger's time serving in Congress, he served as a pilot in the Air National Guard, Air Force Special Ops, Air Combat Command and Air Mobility Command. This experience has given Kinzinger a unique bottom-up perspective on the needs and desires of every day airmen in the Air Force and Air National Guard.
The National Defense Authorization Act passed the House today by a vote of 322-96.