Democrats Vow To Block Assistance For Ukraine And A Significant Pay Raise For U.S. Troops

Senate Democrats Profess To Support Funding For Our Military And Our International Partners Like Ukraine Yet They Say They’ll Block That Funding For A Second Time


SENATE MAJORITY LEADER MITCH McCONNELL (R-KY): “Tomorrow the Senate will vote on funding for the national defense. It will offer a test for our Democratic colleagues: Will their party’s impeachment obsession crowd out even the most basic governing responsibilities? And unfortunately, it seems we may already have our answer. The Democratic Leader, Senator Schumer, said at a press conference yesterday that his party intends to filibuster funding for our armed forces. Democrats have plenty of time and energy for their three-year-old journey to impeach this president. But they can’t get to yes on funding our servicemembers. That’s about as clear a statement of priorities as you get in this town. Just a few days ago, U.S. special forces executed a daring mission and took out the founder of ISIS. It was the clearest possible reminder that the national security of the United States and the missions of our servicemembers do not pause for partisan politics. But less than a week later, for political purposes, Senate Democrats say they’ll refuse to secure future funding for those very missions.” (Sen. McConnell, Remarks, 10/30/2019)

  • SEN. McCONNELL: “Washington Democrats have talked up a storm in recent days, criticizing the Trump administration’s approach to Syria and the Middle East. Lots of talk. But apparently, they are not concerned enough about the Middle East and fighting ISIS to actually vote for the funding that keeps those missions going. And consider this: If Democrats filibuster this defense funding as they have threatened to, they will literally be filibustering the exact kind of military assistance for Ukraine over which they are trying to impeach the president…. This legislation is what appropriates the money for the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative. Precisely the program that Democrats are trying to impeach President Trump for supposedly slow-walking. And yet, tomorrow, right here in the Senate, they say they’re going to filibuster funding for that exact same program.” (Sen. McConnell, Remarks, 10/30/2019)

SEN. RICHARD SHELBY (R-AL), Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman: “With all that we ask of our military… With all the challenges it already faces… With all the additional uncertainties that stopgap funding creates… And with all that has been said recently about the need to support our allies and counter our adversaries around the world… I hope my colleagues will not say to our men and women in uniform, ‘We’ll get to you later.’” (U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee, Press Release, 10/22/2019)


Democrats Announce They’ll Again Block The Senate From Funding Our Military

“Schumer also confirmed that Senate Democrats will reject a defense funding bill in the coming days …” (“Schumer Warns Of Impeachment-Fueled Shutdown,” Politico, 10/29/2019)

  • SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY): “Defense bill won't pass this week.” (Sen. Schumer, Press Conference, 10/29/2019)
  • SEN. SCHUMER: “We all know, this ain’t passing.” (Sen. Schumer, Floor Remarks, 10/31/2019)


FLASHBACK: Last Month Senate Democrats ‘Blocked Debate On The Almost $700 Billion Pentagon Budget And Other Spending Bills’

“Senate Democrats on Wednesday blocked a bill to fund most of the federal government, marking the latest setback for spending talks …” (“Senate Democrats Block Government Spending Bill,” The Hill, 9/18/2019)

“Senate Democrats Wednesday blocked debate on the almost $700 billion Pentagon budget and other spending bills …” (“Democrats Block Pentagon Bill Amid Border Wall Battle,” The Associated Press, 9/18/2019)


This Year’s Defense Appropriations Bill Contains $250 Million In Assistance For Ukraine And $745 Million To Combat ISIS

The Fiscal Year 2020 Defense Appropriations bill “[f]ully funds the request of $250.0 million for the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative and extends the life of the funding to two years …” (U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee, Press Release, 9/12/2019)

The Defense bill also includes $745 million for the Counter-ISIS Train and Equip Fund. (S. 2474, 116th Congress)

In addition, $3.7 billion for the Afghanistan Security Forces Fund is included in the Defense Appropriations bill. (S. 2474, 116th Congress)

SEN. CHRIS MURPHY (D-CT): “I mean, there aren't a lot of things that Republicans and Democrats agree on these days in Washington. One of them is this aid was really important. Republicans and Democrats are on board with getting this aid to the Ukrainians as quickly as possible.” (CNN’s “New Day,” 9/25/2019)

SEN. SCHUMER: “We cannot allow ISIS to regroup or gather strength.” (Sen. Schumer, Congressional Record, S. 6181, 10/28/2019)


The Defense Appropriations Bill Also Includes A Pay Raise For Our Servicemembers, Disaster Relief Funds For Military Bases, Critical Funding For Missile Defense, And Much More

SEN. SHELBY: “Without sustained and predictable investments to restore readiness and modernize our military, we will rapidly lose our military advantage – something we cannot afford in light of increasing national security challenges from around the globe.” (U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee, Press Release, 9/12/2019)

“Supports a military pay raise of 3.1 percent … includes $10.58 billion for Missile Defense Agency (MDA), an increase of $1.2 billion … [s]upports Air Force nuclear modernization … [and includes] additional appropriations for disaster relief … designated for necessary expenses related to the consequences of Hurricanes Michael and Florence and flooding and earthquakes occurring in fiscal year 2019.” (U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee, Press Release, 9/12/2019)



Related Issues: America's Military, Iraq, Appropriations, War on Terror, National Security, ISIL, Afghanistan