BY REBECCA PALMER
BOUNTIFUL — Utah Congressmen Chris Stewart and Rob Bishop spoke before a meeting of the Davis County Republican Women on Thursday, and their primary message was clear: fund the military.
The U.S. needs to lead the world with its military force, Stewart said, and providing it the necessary money paramount in our ability to lead. Bishop agreed, and added that continuing to develop new technology such as the F-35 Lightning II fighter jets at Hill AFB are not just important, they are our foreign relations policy when the U.S. sits down to negotiate with other nations.
If we don’t build a new generation of fighters, Bishop said, we would lose our air superiority to other nations by the mid-2020s. If that happens, our service members would be at greater risk in whatever future conflicts arise.
“We will probably win, but we will lose planes and lose pilots because of it,” Bishop said.
Both congressmen said the military has been hurt worst be federal sequestration, especially since its budget had been cut before those additional reductions were put in place.
If the U.S. Senate passes the appropriations bill agreed on by the House of Representatives before it went on break, Bishop said, that would end sequestration.
On several occasions in their short speeches, the representatives criticized the Obama administration.
Bishop, a former history teacher, said that if the president had studied American history, he would have known how stupid the idea of sequestration was. It didn’t work with the tariff of abominations and the John Quincy Adams administration in 1828, and it didn’t work this time, he said.
As an aside, Bishop said he never sees the president talk about American history, and that not doing so hurts the country.
Stewart, who recently visited Israel and met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, spoke against Obama’s foreign policy.
“This idea of leading from behind is absolutely backward to me, and it’s absolutely going to fail,” Stewart said. “The U.S. has to lead in the world.
This fall in Washington, D.C. the main issues to watch will be the debt ceiling limit, another round of sequestration, budget cuts, and tax reform, Stewart said.
Stewart, a Republican, represents Utah’s second congressional district, which includes most of Davis County south of Farmington. Bishop, also a Republican, represents Utah’s first district, which includes the rest of the county from Kaysville north.
Stewart plans to hold a town hall-style meeting at the Davis County Administration Building in Farmington on Wednesday, Aug. 28 at 7 p.m.