McConnell: Critical Defense Legislation Deserves a Bipartisan Amendment Process

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) delivered the following remarks today on the Senate floor regarding the National Defense Authorization Act:

“Yesterday, a bipartisan majority of Senators rejected the Democratic Leader’s effort to shut down debate on the National Defense Authorization Act and block new measures to get tougher on Russia.

“The Democratic Leader wants to block the Senate from fully and robustly debating a number of important issues — from how to manage the fallout from the reckless Afghanistan retreat to how to respond to China’s dramatic and destabilizing military modernization to how to restore deterrence against an emboldened Iran.

“The NDAA is supposed to be the bipartisan forum for debating and acting on these kinds of issues. Months ago, the Armed Services Committee moved this process forward 23-3. But the Democratic Leader has botched the floor process.

“It is especially bizarre to see the Democratic Leader so focused, so intent, on blocking the Senate from dealing seriously with the growing aggression from Putin’s Russia. He seems downright desperate to block new bipartisan action on Nord Stream 2. It’s strange to see.

“Senators Risch and Cruz have proposed language concerning this Putin pipeline that the House was able to pass almost unanimously. Unlike the House provision, the Risch/Cruz amendment includes a waiver provision that would give the President more flexibility, which makes the Democratic Leader’s effort to shut the process down and block their amendment all the more baffling.

“If there is opposition to this amendment – if it can be improved with modifications – then by all means, let’s have a public debate.

“Likewise, Senator Portman has been a leading voice for bolstering our European partners and delivering more meaningful support to Ukraine’s military.

“As Putin masses forces on Ukraine’s border, the Senate should debate how to help the Ukrainians defend themselves. The Democratic Leader is trying to shut that down too.

“The NDAA is not finished yet. So the Senate cannot be finished yet either.

“We need the same kind of normal, robust, bipartisan amendment process that always characterizes this bill. And we need the Democratic Leader to stop trying to block the Senate from sanctioning Putin’s cronies.”


Related Issues: Russia, NDAA, Senate Democrats