McConnell Urges Senate Democrats to Support Nation’s Military, Not Washington Bureaucrats
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell made the following remarks on the Senate floor urging Senate Democrats not to filibuster defense authorization legislation:
“Later this afternoon, the Senate will decide whether to advance or filibuster the defense authorization legislation before us.
“Senators will take a vote and make a choice.
“One option is for Senators to follow the bipartisan example of the House of Representatives and the Senate Armed Services Committee, both of which passed defense authorization legislation with bipartisan backing.
“It means reaching across the aisle to support the men and women who support us every day.
“It means voting to transform bureaucratic waste into crucial investments for brave troops and their families: raises they’ve earned, quality-of-life programs they deserve, and the kind of medical care and mental-health support they should expect when injured on the battlefield or haunted by its memories at home.
“It means ensuring our military has the tools it needs to help America navigate a treacherous world beset by an ever-growing array of challenges.
“It means advancing a bill that contains ideas and priorities from both parties, and one that gives President Obama the exact level of funding authorization he asked for in his own budget request.
“It also means endorsing the Senate’s return to considering defense authorization bills through regular order — allowing real bipartisan debate and a real bipartisan amendment process, as we’ve done this year — as opposed to the bad old days of ramming it through at the last minute.
“That’s one option — voting for cloture; voting for a bipartisan bill that’s good for our troops and our country
“But there’s another option too — voting to filibuster; voting to raise the curtain on this bizarre ‘Filibuster Summer’ strategy we hear Democrat leaders boasting about in the press.
“Democrat leaders are apparently so passionate about dumping more cash into gargantuan D.C. bureaucracies like the IRS that they now seem prepared to block and filibuster the benefits owed to our troops and their families — or even shut down the government altogether — if they can’t get their way.
“As one newspaper reported this morning, ‘Democrats appear eager to return to shutdown politics.’ The Minority Leader seemed to put it plainly enough the other day: ‘We’re headed for another shutdown,’ he said.
“But that can only happen if common-sense Democrats allow their party leaders to advance this shutdown-seeking ‘Filibuster Summer’ gambit.
“Today is every common-sense Democrat’s chance to say ‘enough.’
“Today is every common-sense Democrat’s opportunity to help pull their party back from a senseless path of forcing endless filibusters and a shutdown no one wants but the Hard Left.
“Because here’s what every Senator knows deep down.
“Voting to filibuster would mean allowing Democrat leaders to take from every soldier, every sailor, every Marine, and every man and woman in the Air Force the pay raises they've earned, so Democrat leaders can use it as ante in a game of Shutdown Roulette.
Voting to filibuster would mean allowing Democrat leaders to hold our military hostage at a time of unprecedented global threats, as part of some partisan ploy to extract a few more bucks for Washington bureaucrats.
“I just can’t imagine serious-minded Democrats feeling comfortable going along with their leaders' plan.
“It’s just too callous. It's just too extreme.
“So I hope they won’t.
“I hope every one of my colleagues, no matter which party they’re in, will stand together instead for bipartisanship, for regular order, and for the idea that we should support the troops who support us.
“I thank Chairman McCain for all of his hard work to get us to this point. He did a marvelous job working across the aisle to craft a serious defense bill with input and amendments from both parties. The Senate, our military, and our country stand to benefit immensely from his dedication.
“I hope every Senator of goodwill will stand up and vote to advance this bipartisan bill today.”