November 20, 2019
“House Democrats are delaying final passage of our National Defense Authorization Act… They’re blocking the spending bill for our military even though it gives our troops a well-earned pay raise.”
Click here to watch Sen. Barrasso’s remarks.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) spoke on the Senate floor about how Democrats in the House and Senate need to stop blocking the National Defense Authorization Act and give our troops the pay raise they have earned and deserve.
Excerpts of Senator Barrasso’s remarks:
“I come to the floor as we approach another government funding deadline.
“The fact is, it’s already past time to fund the government, and especially our military.
“Republicans have worked all year to complete the annual appropriations process and get it done on time.
“Here’s the problem: Republicans can’t pass the annual funding bills alone.
“We need cooperation from the Democrats. We need the House Democrats’ cooperation, and here in the Senate you need to clear the 60-vote hurdle. So we need Senate Democrats to be involved in the process as well.
“But Democrats prefer impeachment grandstanding rather than governing. That’s what we are facing here today.
“So we’re nearly two months into the fiscal year, fiscal year 2020, and we have yet to pass any of the 2020 funding bills. The government has been running under what’s called a short-term continuing resolution.
“This current continuing resolution is set to expire Thursday, tomorrow. We’ll undoubtedly pass another stopgap continuing resolution this week.
“These are only a temporary fix. They’re needed to keep the government’s lights on but at last year’s funding levels.
“Meanwhile, there’s no end in sight to Democrats’ three-year-long impeachment obsession. Their impeachment fever rages on. They are so consumed by this bitterly partisan process that they cannot focus on the priorities of the American people.
“Too consumed to fix our aging roads and bridges. Too obsessed to pass America-first trade deals. Too fixated to fund the government on time.
“Above all, people expect us to fully fund defense. The defense of our nation. And yet, the Democrats continue to stonewall.
“Republicans are fighting to fully fund the military. Democrats are waging war on the commander-in-chief.
“Remember, both parties came to the table and completed a bipartisan budget deal this past summer.
“Now the deal meant that we could fund the government on time. The deal supported critical defense funding to keep our nation safe. And it included a major pay raise for our troops.
“So what happened?
“Well, it’s pretty clear. The Democrats went back on their word. And in so doing, they broke faith with the American people and broke faith with our troops. Those in harm’s way today.
“Back at home in Wyoming, a deal is a deal.
“Your word means something.
“A handshake means something.
“You never go back on your word.
“Certainly not when you’ve made promises to our men and women in uniform.
“Nevertheless, the Democrats have since poisoned the well with unreasonable partisan demands.
“They are tying our Americans’ hands, repeatedly blocking key defense votes.
“Democrats filibuster. Democrats impeach, while neglecting the troops.
“U.S. forces, meanwhile, are facing heightened threats with last year’s funding levels.
“The fact is, that while necessary, these continuing resolutions take a real toll on our military.
“The current CR means a $22 billion cut from this summer’s bipartisan budget deal when it comes to our troops.
“It’s harming military readiness and harming military training. The CR has also delayed new weapons programs.
“And it has suspended existing weapons programs. These include hypersonic strike weapons, missile defense systems and new fighters and ships.
“Our adversaries, most notably Iran and China and Russia, they pose a grave, growing threat to our nation.
“That hasn’t stopped House and Senate Democrats from blocking both the defense authorization and funding bills. Right now, they are blocking both.
“The National Defense Authorization Act, which is the authorizing bill, has passed and been signed every year since 1961. That’s when John Kennedy was president of the United States.
“The NDAA has a long history of strong bipartisan support. Yet right now, House Democrats are delaying final passage of our National Defense Authorization Act.
“And again, they’re blocking the spending bill for our military even though it gives our troops a well-earned pay raise.
“I frequently visit our troops overseas. I did so last month. We have a number of Wyoming National Guard members deployed around the world. And it’s always an honor to spend time with them.
“Most recently, I visited Wyoming troops deployed in the Middle East and in Kosovo.
“The Wyoming Guard has about 400 members overseas. It’s our state’s largest deployment in a decade.
“And as I noted at this year’s American Legion Post 6 Veterans Day celebration in Cheyenne, Wyoming: These troops will be away from home this Thanksgiving. They will be away for Christmas. They will be away from home for New Year’s as well.
“Both my dad and my father-in-law served overseas.
“My dad fought in Europe in World War II in the pivotal Battle of the Bulge. The 75th anniversary of which is coming up next month.
“My father-in-law fought in both theaters during World War II. He also served in the Korean War.
“The United States Armed Forces are on the frontlines. They’re defending our freedoms, and they’re doing it every single day. They make this sacrifice 365 days a year, and they do it to protect us and protect our freedoms and protect our nation.
“U.S. service members never quit, they don’t complain. And we can’t quit on them when they need us the most.
“Our troops deserve our full support right now. And clearly, that support must be bipartisan.
“Yet Democrats remain too obsessed to do the work of the nation.
“People elected them to do a job and those people elected are nowhere to be found.
“Think about it: Democrats are fast-tracking impeachment and filibustering the defense funding bill.
“Instead of funding certainty, we have an impeachment circus.
“Republicans are committed to work on policy priorities for the people who elected us.
“It’s time for Democrats to stop the stonewalling.
“Let’s give our troops the state-of-the-art tools that they need and the raise they deserve and have earned.
“Democrats need to get their priorities in order: Defense should be top of the list.
“It’s past time to keep our promises to the military.
“It’s past time to give the troops a well-earned and well- deserved pay raise.
“It’s past time to fund the defense of our nation and to fund our government.”