Democrats Continue to Obsess Over Impeachment While Obstructing Everything Else
'The very bills that Democrats are resisting are essential for our National Defense Strategy.’ ‘If Democrats divide Congress over non-defense issues and kill these bills, they’ll have played right into our adversaries’ hands.’
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) delivered the following remarks today on the Senate floor regarding appropriations and passing NDAA:
‘This week, House Democrats are continuing their three-year-long quest to impeach the president and continuing to obstruct urgent bipartisan legislation.
‘This has been the Democrats’ strategy for months now: Obsess over impeachment and obstruct everything else.
‘Take the USMCA, which would create 176,000 new American jobs. Speaker Pelosi has been stalling it for months, constantly saying she is optimistic, or getting close, or almost there. For months it has been this broken record. I understand this very week, while the Speaker of the House has apparently flown to Madrid to discuss climate change, she keeps offering the same empty rhetoric that’s no different than what she was saying 10 months ago.
‘American workers have waited, and waited, and waited. House Democrats keep stalling.
‘Or consider the appropriations process. Even after signing a bipartisan agreement to forego poison pills, Democrats ignored it and thrust other policy disagreements back into the appropriations process. They voted twice to filibuster funding for our armed forces.
‘Well, last week, Chairman Shelby and Chairwoman Lowey reached an important agreement to address allocations at the subcommittee level.
‘This was an essential step. It will take a lot of work and cooperation to move the appropriations process forward in the short time ahead of us. Our Democratic colleagues will finally need to rediscover that our men and women in uniform are more important than their partisan fights.
‘Speaking of our armed forces, let’s talk about the NDAA.
‘Congress has passed an annual defense authorization bill every year, since 1961. Every year, after some jousting and jostling, the Congress has put aside all our extraneous disagreements to fulfill one of our most basic responsibilities and re-authorize our armed forces.
‘But remember Democrats’ new playbook: Obsess over impeachment, obstruct everything else. Including, apparently, even our troops and national security.
‘Imagine being so far-left that even the routine annual bill to re-authorize the U.S. military is some controversial thing you have to be goaded into supporting.
‘House Democrats abandoned long-standing traditions of compromise and larded up the NDAA with partisan policy riders. For what appears to be the first time ever in either chamber, they passed an NDAA on a pure party-line vote. The first purely partisan NDAA in 58 years.
‘In the Senate, by contrast, Chairman Inhofe and Ranking Member Reed collaborated on a bill that passed the Senate 86 to 8. We did our part. But now my colleague the Democratic Leader is moving the goalposts and enabling Speaker Pelosi’s reckless strategy.
‘Longstanding bipartisan precedent says that, in order for any subject outside the Armed Services Committees’ jurisdiction to travel in the final NDAA, the chairmen and ranking members of the actual committee of jurisdiction to give bipartisan signoff.
‘This basic test protects the Senate, protects our committees, and protects NDAA from being held hostage for specific partisan ends. Every year, dozens if not hundreds of provisions meet that bar. Those that don’t end up on the cutting room floor.
'Thus far, in the Senate, Chairman Inhofe and Ranking Member Reed have worked hard to respect these norms.
‘But this year, the Speaker of the House and my colleague the Democratic Leader want to scrap this precedent, undermine the Committees, and demand special treatment for partisan priorities that have no business being crammed into this essential legislation for our armed forces.
‘We’re talking about a new taxpayer-funded benefit for all federal employees… sweeping changes to U.S. foreign policy… this is what they’re trying to shoehorn in.
‘It’s not good-faith policymaking. Not when these demands pour in at the 11th hour over must-pass legislation for our servicemembers. It’s just political theater, taking precedence over our armed forces.
‘So, right on cue, I’m sure we’ll hear made-for-TV histrionics about all the new provisions the Speaker and the Democratic Leader want to shove into this bill, bypassing hearings, markups, and negotiations between Chairmen and Ranking Members.
‘We’ll probably keep hearing the dishonest myth that Republicans are soft on Russia. Never mind that a few years ago President Obama was mocking Republicans for being too tough on Russia. Never mind that this administration has aggressively pursued sanctions, expelled Russian operatives, provided lethal defensive weapons to Georgia and Ukraine, taken major steps to protect our elections, and more.
‘Just more bluster and histrionics to distract from the core fact which is crystal-clear to the entire country: There is no legislation, no matter how crucial, that Democrats will not obstruct in order to pick fights with the president.
‘The very bills that Democrats are resisting are essential for our National Defense Strategy.
‘For our needed investments in cutting-edge weapons, in the European Defense Initiative, in modernizing our nuclear force. All critical for competing with, deterring, and defending against Russia and China.
‘If Democrats divide Congress over non-defense issues and kill these bills, they’ll have played right into our adversaries’ hands. If we jettison the long-standing bipartisan process for negotiating the NDAA, they’ll have made this basic national security requirement far more difficult in the future.
‘Our Democratic colleagues must understand that national security comes before “the Resistance.” The country cannot afford this new tactic, obsess over impeachment and obstruct everything else. I hope it changes soon.’
Related Issues: NDAA, America's Military, Appropriations, Senate Democrats