Democrats Must Not Continue to Block Funding Our Armed Forces
‘Our Democratic colleagues have not even been willing to get past partisanship for the sake of job number one — funding our military. So this week will offer our Democratic colleagues a clear test. Are all the declarations that they are willing to work on important legislation just empty talk? Or will Senate Democrats finally do their part to move the appropriations process forward?’
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) delivered the following remarks today on the Senate floor regarding the Senate agenda:
“This week the Senate has several opportunities to make headway on important matters facing the nation.
“First, we’ll tend to a pending treaty protocol on the accession of a new member to NATO, and reaffirm the importance of the alliance to the security of U.S. interests around the world. Then, we’ll consider yet another of the president’s well-qualified nominees to the diplomatic corps.
But while the Senate can take care of some of these matters on our own, much of the pressing business of the American people requires coordination with colleagues across the Capitol. And unfortunately, the only thing that seems to really inspire House Democrats these days is their obsession with overturning the results of the 2016 election.
“In the weeks since the Speaker of the House gave in to her far-left members’ demands for an impeachment ‘inquiry,’ she and other prominent House Democrats have insisted over and over again that impeachment will not stop them from making real progress on legislation. They say their three-year-old impeachment parade doesn’t have to block traffic and bring other important priorities to a standstill. That’s what they say, but actions speak louder than words.
“We have yet to see any actual indication that House Democrats intend to make good on that commitment. For months, we’ve heard the Speaker claim she’d like to get to yes on the USMCA. We’ve heard that her caucus is ‘making progress.’
“But nearly a year after this landmark agreement with Mexico and Canada was announced, the most significant update to North American trade policy in a generation is still waiting for the House to take action. Billions of new dollars in economic growth and 176,000 new American jobs are still waiting on House Democrats.
“And that’s not all. So far, even something as completely basic as funding our armed forces – funding our men and women in uniform – has met with the same fate. Democrats have elected to stall it and block it in order to pick fights with the White House. Nothwithstanding our bipartisan, bicameral agreement to wrap up the appropriations process in good faith, Senate Democrats voted a few weeks ago to block funding our Department of Defense.
“No critical resources for U.S. servicemembers. No predictable planning process for our commanders. No pay raise for our all-volunteer armed forces. None of that was allowed to travel through the Senate because our Democratic colleagues don’t care for the occupant of the White House.
“Ironically, many of these same colleagues of ours have spent recent days making loud pronouncements on U.S. foreign policy. By the sound of their comments, it almost sounds as if they’re coming around to Republicans’ long-held views on the necessity of American leadership around the world.
“But once again, actions speak louder. And thus far our Democratic colleagues have not even been willing to get past partisanship for the sake of job number one — funding our military. So this week will offer our Democratic colleagues a clear test. Are all the declarations that they are willing to work on important legislation just empty talk? Or will Senate Democrats finally do their part to move the appropriations process forward?
“Soon we will vote on advancing a package of domestic funding legislation. As I said last week, I am grateful to Chairman Shelby and Senator Leahy for their continued conversations and hopeful they can produce a substitute amendment that will fund a number of urgent domestic priorities.
And then, once we conclude that work, we will vote to move forward funding for our national defense. Two big votes. Two big opportunities for our Democratic friends to show the country whether their party’s impeachment obsession leaves any room at all for the pressing business of the American people.”
Related Issues: Senate Democrats, America's Military, Appropriations