Defense Bill Critical To America’s 21st Century Military
‘The legislation before us sends a clear message to our men and women in uniform. It tells them that we have their backs. After years of uncertain funding and arbitrary spending limits, we have their backs. In the face of diverse and evolving threats, we have their backs. When I vote, I’ll do it to tell the brave Kentuckians serving at home and abroad that we have their backs. I would hope that each of my colleagues does the same.’
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) delivered the following remarks today on the Senate floor regarding the John S. McCain 2019 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA):
“Last week, Secretary of Defense Mattis met with our NATO allies in Brussels. He offered an important reminder. Quote, ‘threats to our collective security have not waned.’ In other words, it remains a challenging time to defend our nation, our interests and our values.Secretary Mattis has been consistent. Our new National Defense Strategy makes this clear.
“Though we face a constant threat from international terrorism, our nation must also enhance our capabilities for a renewed era of international competition between great powers. He, along with our senior military commanders, have shared this message with Congress time and time again. They’ve detailed our servicemembers’ pressing needs, and explained the importance of steady resources in the face of evolving threats. We heard them loud and clear.
“Earlier this year, our bipartisan spending agreement eliminated harmful, arbitrary limits on defense spending and delivered the largest year-on-year increase in funding for our military in a fifteen years. Now it’s time to build on this progress and pass our fifty-eighth annual defense authorization bill. This year’s NDAA is rightly named for our friend and colleague Senator McCain. It would authorize $716 billion to equip and train America’s 21st-century forces to meet and overcome today’s challenges.
“As the Iranian regime continues its aggressive efforts to expand its sphere of influence throughout the Middle East, this bill will empower our forces to support our strategic partnerships in the region. As China continues testing the boundaries of its power in the Pacific region, the NDAA will extend the authority of the Indo-Pacific maritime security initiative and extend the reach and readiness of naval and air forces within U.S. Pacific Command. And as Russia persists in its efforts to destabilize western democracies and sow doubt within NATO, the bill before us would enhance multilateral security cooperation throughout the alliance and give U.S. Cyber Command the resources to disrupt, deter, and defeat cyber-aggression.
“The legislation before us sends a clear message to our men and women in uniform. It tells them that we have their backs. After years of uncertain funding and arbitrary spending limits, we have their backs. In the face of diverse and evolving threats, we have their backs. When I vote, I’ll do it to tell the brave Kentuckians serving at home and abroad that we have their backs. I would hope that each of my colleagues does the same. This bill was crafted in a thorough, bipartisan committee process, and was modified to include more than forty amendments. I look forward to concluding our consideration and passing this NDAA soon.”
Related Issues: America's Military, NDAA