Missed Opportunities

While Democrats Obsess Over Impeachment, Critical Congressional Business To Boost Our Economy And Support Our Troops Is Falling By The Wayside


“The latest political brawl in Washington leaves a pile of policy priorities among the feared casualties … With the Democratic-led House moving forward with an impeachment inquiry into President Trump, members of both parties worry that the goals Congress set for itself this fall may slip even further out of reach …” (“Impeachment Tension Overshadows Legislative Progress in Congress,” The Wall Street Journal, 9/27/2019)


Appropriations: ‘Senate Democrats Blocked A Defense Spending Bill For The Second Time’

“Senate Democrats blocked a defense spending bill for the second time on Thursday, underscoring the hurdles ahead of next month’s government funding deadline…. Democrats warned ahead of time that they would oppose taking up the bill …” (The Hill, 10/31/2019)

  • “On Thursday, the Senate couldn't even get past the first procedural hurdle to begin debate on a package to fund the Pentagon and the departments of Education, Health and Human Services, State, Energy and Labor…. Senate Democrats overwhelmingly objected to starting debate …” (Politico Pro, 10/31/2019)

SENATE MAJORITY LEADER MITCH McCONNELL (R-KY): “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. RICHARD SHELBY (R-AL), Appropriations Committee Chairman: “Unfortunately, my Democratic colleagues seem more focused on scoring political points than ensuring our military has the certainty and funding it needs to counter our adversaries. … Funding America’s military should be our priority – it should come first…. We cannot afford additional delay.  Our service men and women – those troops whom we have entrusted to keep us safe and protect our democracy – cannot afford additional delay.  We must not kick the can down the road when it comes to America’s military.” (U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee, Press Release, 10/31/2019)


NDAA: ‘Dragging The Must-Pass Bill Into A Quagmire’

“Negotiators in the House and Senate say they are struggling to reach a compromise on several issues in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) … dragging the must-pass bill into a quagmire that has bedeviled multiple legislative efforts in recent years.” (The Hill, 10/27/2019)

  • “The 67-page bill covers authorizations for military construction projects, transfer authorities, special and bonus pay for troops, pay for civilians in conflict zones, authority to buy F-35 fighters jets … operations and maintenance for cyber capabilities, counter-ISIS authorities and authorization for the supply line for operations in Afghanistan, among others.” (“Senate Chairman Introduces ‘Skinny’ Defense Policy Bill,” The Hill, 10/29/2019)

The NDAA has been passed every year dating back to 1961.

SEN. JIM INHOFE (R-OK), Armed Services Committee Chairman: “Failure to pass an NDAA and accepting a full-year CR would stop our Nation’s defense strategy in its tracks…. This is not just inside-the-beltway gridlock. The world is watching. Our allies and our enemies are watching. They want to know if America is serious about its role in the world and its own national defense. Failure to pass basic legislation on a timely basis to support our military sends a terrible signal that undermines our national security. Think of the signal that sends to our troops who are out there risking their lives to defend us here at home.” (Sen. Inhofe, Congressional Record, S6247, 10/29/2019)

SEN. DAVID PERDUE (R-GA), Armed Services Committee Member: “Right now, Democrats are holding up passage of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) and defense appropriations bills … Democrats are once again trying not to fund the military. They are putting politics over our women and men in uniform. They would rather obsess over … impeachment proceedings and the border wall than negotiate in good faith to pass the NDAA and fund the military. This is absolutely reckless, because we still have more work to do in ending terrorism globally.” (Sen. Perdue, Op-Ed, “Even After ISIS Raid Dems Won't Do This One Thing To Make US Safe,” Fox News, 11/03/2019)


‘USMCA Left Hanging As Clock Runs Out’

“With just a few weeks left in this year’s congressional calendar, prospects for passage of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) seem to be dimming by the day.” (“Why Trump Still Can’t Get USMCA Through Congress,” Foreign Policy, 10/23/2019)

“USMCA left hanging as clock runs out … President Trump hammered congressional Democrats yet again for dragging their feet on passing his administration's signature trade agreement…. Along with Trump, other Republicans including Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley are calling foul, saying it is becoming less likely that the House Speaker will bring USMCA … up for ratification this year.” (“USMCA Left Hanging As Clock Runs Out,” Fox Business, 10/29/2019)

SENATE MAJORITY LEADER MITCH McCONNELL (R-KY) and HOUSE REPUBLICAN LEADER KEVIN McCARTHY (R-CA): “The U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement is unambiguously a win for America. It would create new jobs, expand export markets, strengthen protections for workers, and generate billions of dollars in new prosperity…. Mexico has ratified the agreement. Canada is waiting for us to take the lead. The U.S. Senate stands ready, willing and eager to pass it. There’s only one obstacle, which has been on full display in the last several days: House Democrats have been more interested in picking fights with the White House than clinching bipartisan victories for America.” (Sen. McConnell and Rep. McCarthy, Op-Ed, “House Democrats Resist a Win for American Workers,” The Wall Street Journal, 9/29/2019)

SEN. CHUCK GRASSLEY (R-IA), Senate Finance Committee Chairman: “The Democratic-controlled House of Representatives looks increasingly less likely to act this year on the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement. That threatens passage of the trilateral trade deal this Congress, as next year is a Presidential election year. It has been about a year since the updated trade agreement with Canada and Mexico was signed by the leaders of the three nations. It is a whole year, and Democrats have still failed to act.  Every day that passes, Americans are losing out on economic benefits of the USMCA. House Democrats seem to have no sense of urgency.” (Sen. Grassley, Congressional Record, S. 6068, 10/23/2019)

SEN. BEN SASSE (R-NE), Joint Economic Committee Member: “The USMCA deal, struck late last year, would help Nebraska agriculture. This is a free-trade win for farmers and ranchers that would provide secure market access, favorable trading terms and long-term stability. It would reinvigorate trade relationships with our friends while protecting against foul play by our adversaries, such as China. The only hang-up is that [Speaker] Pelosi needs to bring the trade deal to the House floor for a vote. Time is running out. If Pelosi doesn’t cut the politics and schedule a vote before the end of the year, farmers and ranchers will face 2020 with more confusion and uncertainty.” (Sen. Sasse, Op-Ed, “Speaker Pelosi Is Standing Between Nebraskans And Trade,” Omaha World-Herald, 10/26/2019)



Related Issues: America's Military, War on Terror, Afghanistan, Appropriations, ISIL, National Security, Economy, Free Trade, NDAA