As Chairman of the Senate Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, Jon’s top priority is keeping Montanans safe. That’s why he works hard to ensure our country’s military service members and their families have the resources they need to keep our families secure.
The Subcommittee on Defense is responsible for providing nearly $800 billion annually to the Department of Defense and related agencies to support America’s national security. This is more than 95 percent of the military’s yearly budget, and includes matters ranging from pay and benefits for millions of service members and civilians to the development of advanced technologies and next-generation weapons. The Subcommittee also oversees funding for nearly all major U.S. intelligence agencies.
That’s why, as Chairman, Jon has secured pay raises for America’s troops, protected the flying mission at the Montana Air National Guard, and passed legislation to better secure Montana’s 540-mile northern border with Canada.
Jon also believes the Inter-Continental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) fleet at Malmstrom Air Force Base is the most cost-effective deterrent to ensure the nation’s safety. In fact, the very first Minutemen ICBMs—deployed in October of 1962 during the height of the Cuban Missile Crisis—were assigned to Malmstrom Air Force Base, not far from Jon’s family farm, and President John F. Kennedy referred to them as his “ace in the hole” in dealing with the Soviets.
Today, our ICBM fleet remains a critical cornerstone of our nation’s nuclear triad, and that’s why Jon has worked so hard to help modernize Malmstrom’s ICBM fleet, ensuring that the base remains safe and active for many years to come and that America stays steps ahead of our adversaries like China and Russia.
Through his leadership role on the Senate Appropriations Committee, Jon crafts the budget for the Defense Department, Intelligence Community, and the Department of Veterans’ Affairs—the two largest shares of the federal budget. This makes him acutely aware that while we must keep America safe, the cost of war is profound and will be felt by returning service members and American taxpayers for decades to come.