Congress Working To Pass Funding Agreement That Fulfills Responsibilities To Our Nation
‘Before the end of this week, Congress must agree on a continuing resolution to sustain the critical operations of the federal government. In this process, it is vital that we ensure our men and women in uniform have the resources they need to protect Americans and face the challenges of a dangerous world.’
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) delivered the following remarks on the Senate floor regarding government funding and the need to provide the necessary resources to the Department of Defense and other priorities:
“Before the end of this week, Congress must agree on a continuing resolution to sustain the critical operations of the federal government. In this process, it is vital that we ensure our men and women in uniform have the resources they need to protect Americans and face the challenges of a dangerous world.
“During the Obama Administration, the readiness of our all-volunteer armed forces was hurt by irresponsible cuts to the Department of Defense which have damaged combat readiness. The military suffered a disproportionate burden under the Budget Control Act. The arbitrary demand that increases in defense funding must be equally matched by increases in non-defense spending should not stand in the way of delivering the resources needed to restore near term and long term readiness.
“Earlier this year, we rightly set aside that misguided standard and took steps to fully meet the needs of our warfighters. This week, we need to do so again. If Congress fails to reach agreement on government funding, our military will suffer intolerable budget cuts that would jeopardize the tools and the training that our servicemembers need to fulfill their missions. But our responsibilities run deeper than keeping the government open and ensuring our warfighters have the resources they need.
“Before the year ends, we must also deliver results in several additional areas of vital importance to the American people. We must renew funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program so the parents of the nine million children who are covered by CHIP can know their children’s health care is secure. We must reauthorize a critical foreign intelligence program that the men and women of American law enforcement need to keep our nation safe from those who wish to harm us.
“We must renew the popular Veterans Choice program, which aims to cut wait times for VA health care and give our veterans flexibility to access care outside the system. We must approve supplemental disaster funding for states and territories that are still struggling to rebuild after a year of devastating natural disasters.
“We must pass a routine waiver to avoid unacceptable cuts in Medicare funding and other vital programs. Since the enactment of the Pay-Go law in 2010, Congress has never allowed its sequester to take effect – especially for tax bills – and we must act again this week to ensure that vulnerable Americans are not harmed.
“And, of particular importance – faced with the continued failure of Obamacare to keep health insurance affordable for working Americans, we must take this opportunity to pass bipartisan solutions that will help stabilize collapsing health insurance markets and lower premiums for individuals and families across the country.
“Across all these critical areas, Congress must do what is right for the American people and take action this week. I urge each member of this body to come together and help pass a funding agreement that fulfills our responsibilities to the nation. I look forward to working with colleagues on both sides of the aisle to make it happen.”
Related Issues: Budget, America's Military, National Security