Administration-Pelosi Budget Deal Will Provide for the Common Defense
‘Pentagon leaders need stable, reliable, and sufficient resources. The greatest military on Earth should not drift in uncertainty. Our servicemembers deserve better than a string of funding crises and continuing resolutions. Our commanders need predictable resources and sufficient resources to lay the foundations for the future of our national defense. Servicemembers deserve to deploy armed with state-of-the-art training and cutting-edge equipment.’
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) delivered the following remarks on the Senate floor regarding the deal reached by the Trump Administration and Speaker Pelosi to avoid a government funding crisis:
“Today, we expect the House of Representatives will pass the two-year government funding agreement that the Trump Administration and Speaker Pelosi announced earlier this week. I stand with the president, who has publicly expressed his support for the agreement several times. And I am grateful to the members of his administration who led the negotiations -- Secretary Mnuchin, Acting Chief of Staff Mulvaney, and Acting OMB Director Vought.
“Considering the circumstances of divided government, this is a good deal. After the House approves it today with bipartisan support, I expect the Senate to do the same next week. It’s a good deal because it achieves the number-one goal on the Republican side of the aisle: Providing for the common defense. Continuing our progress in rebuilding the armed forces of the United States and modernizing them so they can continue to keep Americans safe and project power for years to come. This has been a top shared priority for this Republican Senate and this Republican White House for two and a half years.
“Pentagon leaders need stable, reliable, and sufficient resources. The greatest military on Earth should not drift in uncertainty. Our servicemembers deserve better than a string of funding crises and continuing resolutions. Our commanders need predictable resources and sufficient resources to lay the foundations for the future of our national defense. Servicemembers deserve to deploy armed with state-of-the-art training and cutting-edge equipment. Their families deserve the best support services the nation can offer. And the nation as a whole deserves a global presence that is up to snuff and competitive with the leaps forward in which our adversaries have invested heavily.
“That’s why we’ve delivered historic increases in resources for modernization and DoD reforms -- to ensure the U.S. military is strong and agile enough to confront a growing number of threats to America and our interests. That’s why just a few months ago, we authorized the largest year-on-year increase in defense funding in more than a decade. And now this funding agreement is the next step forward in that process. Every member of this body knows the threats we face are serious and getting more serious.
“The resurgence of great power competition with nations like Russia and China. The destabilizing influence of state-sponsored terror and regional aggression from bad actors such as Iran. And the testing of historic alliances. Amidst the growing international chaos, the preeminent obligation of the United States government is to provide for the common defense. This agreement prioritizes that commitment to the safety and security of the American people. A nation that understands these threats and takes them seriously makes serious investments in the readiness of its own defenses today and the modernization that will preserve their strength into the future.
“For years, we’ve seen China extend its strategic reach, testing the waters of the Indo-Pacific region and beyond. We’ve watched its Communist leadership nearly double military spending in the last decade alone and push the boundaries in everything from offshore territorial claims to 5G technology. America’s edge is in jeopardy. Our allies in the Pacific are uneasy. And the administration’s budget agreement with the Speaker will allow America to ensure that our own foot stays on the gas pedal as well.
“Meanwhile, in the Middle East, we are confronted daily by escalating threats to our allies and interests. State-sponsored terror and proxy actions are becoming bolder. “Grey-zone” activity in places like the Straits of Hormuz is raising the economic and geopolitical stakes of Iran’s meddling. From Syria to Crimea, Russia continues to stretch its legs. Not since the height of the Soviet Union have we seen Moscow this focused on extending influence beyond its borders. And all over the world, historic alliances and partnerships like NATO need to be strengthened and renewed for this new landscape. Fortunately, in the coming days, we’ll have the opportunity to address all these areas — Europe, the Middle East, the Indo-Pacific, and beyond.
“That opportunity is this bipartisan spending agreement. So I’m grateful to the administration for ensuring that such robust funding for our national security is included in this package. It will make us safer worldwide and make needed investments in our facilities right here at home -- like Ft. Knox, Ft. Campbell, and the Blue Grass Army Depot, which Kentucky is proud to host. And what’s more, I commend the president’s team for firmly holding the line on the laundry list of left-wing policy riders that some House Democrats had sought to push throughout their partisan appropriations process.
“We’re talking about far-left wish list items. Things like reversing the Trump Administration’s decision and getting Title X taxpayer dollars flowing back into the pockets of Planned Parenthood. Weakening the conscience rights of health care professionals. Removing protections for the Second Amendment. And efforts that would have weakened ICE and de-funded the president’s efforts to secure our border.
“These are just some of the policy riders the far-left had hoped to smuggle into the appropriations process – perhaps using the full faith and credit of the United States as leverage. But the administration froze all of them out. They shepherded an agreement that delivers on our most basic responsibility to the American people. They set the stage to provide for the common defense. Today, it’s the House’s turn to follow through. And then, in the near future, it will be ours.”
Related Issues: Budget, America's Military