Central Texas representatives in Congress reacted strongly Monday after the defense secretary announced what can be expected in the president’s budget next week.

“It is a shame that instead of going after waste, duplication and bureaucracy, Secretary Hagel is instead looking to reduce the number of men and women that are bravely serving to protect our country. We can comment more specifically on his proposal when we see the budget details next week.”

—Catherine Frazier, spokeswoman for Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas

“Much like the rest of our federal government, there is substantial waste and excess to be trimmed from the Pentagon’s budget. But instead of targeting areas ripe for reform, the secretary’s proposed budget instead makes drastic cuts to the size of our Army and Marine Corps at a time of tremendous upheaval across the globe. As Congress takes up the proposal, it is imperative that we focus our efforts on maximizing the military’s tooth while making reforms that truly root out unnecessary bureaucracy and wasteful spending.”

—Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas

“Secretary Hagel’s announcement today shows more clearly where the president’s priorities lie. He gives federal contractors a raise while proposing cuts to pay and benefits for our troops on the front lines. If this is any indication of what his budget will look like, I can say confidently that it will be dead upon arrival in the House. While high-ranking officials in the military have made it clear that personnel expenses are on track to exceed the military’s entire budget, we need to have other options on the table besides cutting pay for active-duty troops, cutting the vital jobs and tax-free benefits of commissaries, and putting our military’s preparedness and capability at risk. The Pentagon has wasted hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars from its enormous budget, and if Secretary Hagel chooses to go after our troops and their families before addressing the waste and abuse in his own agency, I foresee an overwhelming backlash from the public.”

—Rep. Roger Williams, R-Austin

“When the bombs and rockets fall and the dust settles, it takes the human element to win wars. Reducing our land forces to insufficient levels is dangerous. I am proud of the men and women in uniform, who always deserve our support. As hot as the world is right now in the Ukraine, Egypt, Syria and Iran, we need to make sure our troops not only have the equipment they need, but also training to protect them on and off of the battlefield. Less training time and fewer troops being trained is a recipe for disaster.”

—Rep. John Carter, R-Round Rock

Rose L. Thayer is the military editor for the Killeen Daily Herald. She joined the paper in February 2011 as a health and military reporter. View her complete profile Here. You can contact Rose L. Thayer at rthayer@kdhnews.com or (254) 501-7463. Follow her on Twitter at KDHmilitary.

Rose L. Thayer is the military editor for the Killeen Daily Herald. She joined the paper in February 2011 as a health and military reporter. View her complete profile Here.

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