Overdue Defense Legislation Deserves a Robust, Bipartisan Senate Floor Process
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) delivered the following remarks today on the Senate floor regarding NDAA:
“Last week, I had the honor of spending Veterans Day at the groundbreaking ceremony for Louisville’s new VA hospital.
“We are finally going to replace the city’s original VA medical center that was built almost 70 years ago. Kentucky veterans are going to get new, expanded options for the cutting-edge treatment they deserve.
“This long-awaited groundbreaking was a special day for Kentucky and our heroes.
“But for me, the celebration also underscored how unfortunate and unacceptable it is that, when it comes to our legislative duties here in Washington, this Democratic Senate majority is coming up short on supporting our servicemembers past, present, and future.
“Today is November 15th. The full Senate should have considered, amended, and then passed an annual defense authorization bill months ago. That’s how it normally works. It’s a major bipartisan priority that the Senate majority focuses on, as a matter of basic governance.
“But this unified Democratic government has been distracted from the people’s business. They’ve spent months behind closed doors, putting together another reckless taxing and spending spree. And this obsession with party-line wish lists has led Democrats to drop the ball on basic duties.
“Keeping our servicemembers and our commanders waiting months for an NDAA is just one example. The Democratic majority has also completely dropped the ball on a bipartisan appropriations process.
“And by the way, President Biden’s proposals for funding the government would have us cut defense funding after inflation.
“According to reports, China recently tested a hypersonic vehicle that is capable of carrying nuclear weapons. Just this morning, according to some early press reports, Russia may have tested some kind of new anti-satellite weapon system.
“In the Middle East, President Biden’s own advisors are saying that his rushed retreat from Afghanistan will open the door for a terrorist resurgence.
“It is against this dangerous backdrop that our Democratic majority does not move an NDAA until mid-November… and President Biden doesn’t want defense funding to keep pace with President Biden’s inflation.
“Well, Madam President, better late than never.
“I’m glad the Democratic Leader says he will finally let the full Senate consider an NDAA in the coming days.
“The Senate will need to have the kind of robust, bipartisan floor process that is customary for this important bill and we’ll need to leave extraneous items on the sidelines.”
Related Issues: Senate Democrats, Inflation, NDAA, Veterans, Afghanistan, China