"It's about time," Bishop said of House passage of the Defense Appropriations Act for fiscal year 2008. It was passed in early August.
"We could have passed it several months ago if the Congressional leadership had not been so preoccupied with trying to micro manage the war in Iraq," he said.
"This bill could have been much more," the Kaysville native said. "On the positive side, it provided one-year funding for the next generation F-22 and F-35 fighters," both aircraft having significant ties to Hill Air Force Base.
The bill also funded Utah projects including the Space Dynamics Laboratory in North Logan for research and development on reconnaissance spacecraft and $2 million for engineering-related information technology programs at HAFB.
"However, the bill was also flawed," he said. "The Democrats took $140 million from missile defense programs at the very time we're facing increased missile threats from hostile regimes like North Korea and Iran.
"Overall, it shortchanged the President's defense budget by $4 billion. Every appropriations bill from the House has significantly spent more than even President Bush requested, except for one: the bill that provides for the defense of America."
He called the actions of the Democratic leadership "a shell game, shifting defense money over for such things as programs for illegal immigrants."
Other cuts listed by the third term Congressman included $5.7 billion in operations and maintenance accounts, $433 million in the Army Future Combat System program, $80 million in the next-generation Global Positioning System and "significant reductions" to defense science and technology programs.
The amount spent on national defense as a percentage of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) has gone down "alarmingly," Bishop said, since the 6.8 percent of GDP spent in 1986. The current 4.2 percent of GDP is even less than the military spending during the "hollow military" days of Jimmy Carter in 1978, he noted.
"With what funding we have today, what funding will we have 10 years down the road?"
"Our pilots are flying military aircraft well beyond their original life-cycles and we're having to stretch out production of newer replacement aircraft due to funding cuts. These cuts threaten the well-being of our all-volunteer ground force, threaten vital defense modernization and recapitalization, training and quality of life," Bishop said.
"Our troops deserve better than theatrics and legislative publicity stunts," he said. "Without a final House and Senate version of the spending bill passing, there are dire consequences for thousands of defense programs which outlast the next election cycle.
"They have profound implications for the future strength of the United States to withstand future threats," Bishop said.
He and other members of Congress were due to return from their summer recess Tuesday, Sept. 4.
"As a member of the House Armed Services Committee, I will be anxious to join with my like-minded colleagues on both sides of the aisle to urge quick action in the Senate and to get a military funding bill to the President's desk by the Oct. 1 deadline," Bishop said.
"I urge the House and Senate Democratic leadership to develop the same sense of urgency. The new fiscal year starts Oct. 1 and the Democrat-controlled Senate has only passed one of 12 annual appropriations bills needed to keep government running, and it has yet to act on defense," he said.
"This is no way to run a government or support our troops. The clock is ticking very loudly and no less than the future strength of our nation's military might is at stake."