Defense Funding Remains Priority
The Senate will need to tackle a number of important issues this year. It is my sincere hope that we can do so in a renewed spirit of comity, collegiality, and bipartisanship. I know that colleagues on both sides of the aisle share this hope. And it is urgent that we make it a reality.’
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) delivered the following remarks on the Senate floor regarding the start of the second half of the 115th Congress and government funding:
“As we open the second session of the 115th Congress, I am pleased to welcome my colleagues back to the chamber. I’d like to extend a particular welcome to our two new Senators.
“First, Senator Doug Jones of Alabama will have big shoes to fill. His state has sent some very distinguished legislators to Washington, including our Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Senator Jones brings a background in law enforcement, having served as a federal prosecutor in the northern district of Alabama. We welcome him.
“We also welcome Senator Tina Smith. For three years, she has served the people of Minnesota as their lieutenant governor. Now she will join Senator Klobuchar in representing them here in this body. I congratulate both of these new Senators. I look forward to working with them in the months ahead to make bipartisan progress and find common ground on behalf of the American people.
“The Senate will need to tackle a number of important issues this year. It is my sincere hope that we can do so in a renewed spirit of comity, collegiality, and bipartisanship. I know that colleagues on both sides of the aisle share this hope. And it is urgent that we make it a reality.
“Congress must reach a spending agreement by January 19th to ensure uninterrupted funding for the federal government. Among several key priorities, it is vital that our agreement provide sufficient resources for our all-volunteer armed forces.
“Under the Budget Control Act, America’s military has been stretched thin by disproportionate cuts that have harmed our combat readiness. Since fiscal year 2013, defense cuts have outpaced domestic spending cuts by $85 billion. To fix this, we need to set aside the arbitrary notion that new defense spending be matched equally by new non-defense spending.
“There is no reason why funding for our national security and our servicemembers should be limited by an arbitrary political formula that bears no relationship to actual need. Let’s come together, across the aisle, and construct a funding agreement that gives our men and women in uniform the tools and training they need.”
Related Issues: Budget, History, America's Military