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.
Terri Henderson, 6, center, whose mother is El Salvador, attends a rally with members of Congress at Union Station's Columbus Circle to announce the Restore Opportunity, Strengthen, and Improve the Economy (ROSIE) Act on July 29, 2014. The legislation provides incentives for government contractors to pay a living wage and other benefits that would help low-income workers.