Senate to Pass Administration-Pelosi Budget Deal
‘We need to address the debt limit and secure the full faith and credit of the United States. We need to continue to secure the funding that our national defense demands. Fortunately, the pending legislation will accomplish precisely that. In recent weeks, key officials on President Trump’s team engaged in extensive negotiations with Speaker Pelosi and the Democratic House.’
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) delivered the following remarks on the Senate floor regarding the House-passed bipartisan budget agreement:
“The Senate has accomplished a significant amount of business this week for the American people. We’ve made a big dent in the backlog of President Trump’s well-qualified nominees for federal office. With respect to the judiciary, we’ve confirmed 13 impressive individuals to lifetime seats on the federal bench. And we’ve also ensured that two more key components of the president’s foreign policy team will be on the job before the Senate adjourns for the August work period. We confirmed the Deputy Secretary of Defense and a new Ambassador to the United Nations – both with bipartisan support, just as it should be for nominees who are so fully prepared for jobs that are so important.
“But today, the Senate will turn our attention to legislation. We need to address the debt limit and secure the full faith and credit of the United States. We need to continue to secure the funding that our national defense demands. Fortunately, the pending legislation will accomplish precisely that. In recent weeks, key officials on President Trump’s team engaged in extensive negotiations with Speaker Pelosi and the Democratic House. Given the exigencies of divided government, we knew that any bipartisan agreement on funding levels would not appear perfect to either side. But the administration negotiated a strong deal.
“First and foremost, it ensures our federal government will not approach any kind of short-term debt crisis in the coming weeks or months. It secures our nation’s full-faith and credit and ensures that Congress will not throw this kind of unnecessary wrench into the gears of our job growth and thriving economy. What’s more, despite the desires of the Democratic House, the administration successfully kept far-left poison pills and policy riders entirely out of this process.
“We’d heard that our Democratic colleagues across the Capitol were clamoring to take us backwards on the issue of life, perhaps even targeting the Hyde amendment or forcing more taxpayer dollars back toward Planned Parenthood. We’d heard they were clamoring to try to handcuff the administration’s important work on border security. But on these fronts and on many others, the far left was denied any such victories. No poison pills. A big win for the White House. I’d like to ask consent that the terms of this agreement -- and the specific prohibition of poison pills -- be included in the record.
“Now, perhaps most importantly, particularly to my Republican colleagues and me – this legislation sets a sufficient funding level for our national defense. Over the past few months, as we’ve worked through important legislation like the NDAA, we’ve been reminded of one glaring reality: The forces that seek to harm the United States and our interests are ever-changing, and they demand the full attention of a fully-equipped, modern, and ready military.
“Now, since President Trump took office, Republicans in Congress have made remarkable progress. Working together we have begun rolling back the damage caused by the previous administration’s neglect, atrophy, and misguided approach. We’ve begun to rebuild and restore our military. And we’ve taken important steps toward modernization, so we aren’t just rebuilding the capabilities we need today, but investing in those we will sorely need tomorrow. But I trust that none of my colleagues are under the illusion that our work is finished. As our adversaries grow stronger, critical gaps remain in our ability to counter expansion, influence campaigns, and direct acts of violence toward America and our allies around the world.
“This bipartisan funding deal is the opportunity – the only opportunity on the table – to continue filling in those gaps, before it’s too late. Make no mistake: Russia is not waiting idly by as we sort out whether to deliver full funding to missile defense or uphold our support of partner forces in Europe. China will not scale back its own aggressive ambitions and military investment if Americans decide to take a breather ourselves. Iran’s financing of terrorist organizations and regional troublemaking is not going to stop if we stop investing in our own ability to check their efforts and project power.
“So if we say that we’re serious about countering threats to our homeland, our allies, and our men and women deployed overseas, if we say that we’re serious, then we have to actually deliver on our promise to equip our forces for the job. We have to invest in improved readiness to help our military commanders plan for emerging challenges, in research and development to support the U.S. military of the future, and in rock-solid support for our alliance commitments, which help preserve the peace and extend the reach of our values.
“This deal is an opportunity to do exactly that. This is the agreement the administration has negotiated. This is the deal the House has passed. This is the deal President Trump is waiting and eager to sign into law. This is the deal that every member of this body should support when we vote later this morning.”
Related Issues: America's Military, Budget