McConnell Opening Remarks At Rules Committee Markup
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) delivered the following remarks at today’s Senate Rules Committee markup:
“Thank you, Madam Chair and Ranking Member Fischer.
“I’d like to begin with the prime mover in this situation: an Administration policy I strongly oppose, which is designed to force American taxpayers to violate their rights of conscience.
“The Department of Defense is in the business of raising, equipping, training, and maintaining the strongest fighting forces in the world. Inserting our military into the center of a politically divisive subject isn’t just an ill-advised policy choice – it’s actually dangerous.
“But as I’ve said for months now, our colleague from Alabama’s response is not the way to reach the desired outcome he and I share. In fact, it’s created a nearly unprecedented situation for the Senate to address.
“As a general rule, when a President takes an executive action that a minority in Congress thinks is unlawful, you challenge it in the courts. And then, when the time comes, you elect a different President.
“The Senate, for our part, also has the power to hold the nomination of a civilian Biden Administration official to a role with actual responsibility for the objectionable policy. Unfortunately, our colleague has chosen instead to exert his leverage on career military officers with no influence over this Administration’s policy priorities.
“Right now, these holds affect 370 active duty positions. By the end of the year, if this situation is left unaddressed, it will impact 90% of our senior-most military commanders.
“Madam Chair, any one of us can talk for days about the growing challenges we’re facing around the world. But none of it is worth a dime if we can’t put experienced commanders in command in a timely manner.
“So I’m grateful to a number of our colleagues on both sides who have proposed plausible solutions to this situation.
“Ultimately, the best path forward for everyone involved will be one that allows us to clear the nominations backlog and preserve our substantive opposition to the Biden Administration’s atrocious policy.
“Productive discussions on that front are ongoing. And I’m of the mind that we ought to allow them to continue.
“So I appreciate the work put into the standing order proposal the Committee is considering. But I’m going to oppose taking that route at this particular moment.”
Related Issues: Senate Rules