Thankfully, the president ended the war in Iraq and we are drawing down in Afghanistan.
If properly redirected, the peace dividend achieved from ending these conflicts could have a major effect on deficit reduction.
But these savings are just the tip of the iceberg in cutting the fat at the Pentagon.
• Eliminating the purchase of obsolete spare parts for all branches of the military would save $369 billion over the next decade.
• Fully implementing the reforms recommended by the bipartisan defense acquisition panel would save $270 billion.
• Realigning our nuclear arsenal to meet 21st-century threats would save $113 billion.
The American people expect Democrats and Republicans to leave behind the overheated partisan rhetoric from both sides that has often produced congressional gridlock.
I know that we can do this because the alternative of letting the country go over the fiscal cliff is unthinkable.
My Republican friends and I approach major policy questions from very different perspectives, but we share a common love for this country and a mutual responsibility to act like adults and carry out the people’s business.
After all, that’s why the voters hired us to do this job.
Rep. William Lacy Clay, D-Mo., is a member of the Financial Services and Oversight and Government Reform committees.
Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.