December 2, 2021
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) spoke on the Senate floor about the how Democrats want to spend money on everything except our national defense and homeland security.
Excerpts from Senator Barrasso’s remarks:
“I come to the floor today to talk about the defense bill that is currently before the Senate.
“And I note that the Majority Leader mentioned some complaints about substantive, timely and important amendments that are being offered by my colleagues.
“He was particularly agitated it seems about an amendment dealing with Communist China.
“The United States Senate has a lot of work to do by the end of the year. We need to fund the government. We need to prevent a shutdown. We need to deal with the debt ceiling. Democrats are going to need to lift that.
“We need to make sure our troops are funded and we deal with the defense bill. These are some of the important issues that are before the Senate.
“Here we are near the end of the year scrambling to get it all done in just a couple of weeks. No way to run the United States Senate.
“We haven't had an appropriations bill brought to the floor all year. And the defense bill has been sitting in limbo for months.
“The Armed Services Committee actually finished marking up this bill in July. It's a bipartisan bill, passed the vote in the committee by 23-3.
“Things don't get a lot more bipartisan than that. Typically, the Senate starts working on the defense bill, and then negotiates over the next couple of months. We started in June.
“But instead we've gone months and months and months. We've seen the disastrous collapse and fall and withdrawal in Afghanistan, and yet no defense bill on the floor of the United States Senate.
“So, what did the Democrats try to do instead? They pushed a very partisan agenda, brought to the floor two bills on election takeovers.
“And the Democrats also seem to be very obsessed with their own bill they want to call ‘Build Back Better,’ something like that.
“I’ll tell you, it's a bill that's going to break the backs of American families.
“So now here we are just at the deadline. The Majority Leader has finally gotten around to a bill that has to do with supporting the troops.
“It seems to me that's like a kid with a term paper that's due tomorrow. It's the night before, going to start writing the term paper.
“If you want to get it right, it takes a longer process than that.
“It's a long process generally because it's that important for the nation. Every senator wants to be involved.
“Yet, through the procrastination by the Majority Leader, the defense bill has been delayed.
“Now I made the case that frankly national security has been a very low priority of this president and this administration and this, and the majority party in the House and in the Senate.
“And the reason I say that, is the fact that the budget that President Biden proposed when he came into office – and let's be frank – the budget he proposed was a massive super sizing of the size of the federal government.
“More money for this, more money for that. More money for everything except for two items alone.
“Only two items in the entire federal budget came in to grow at a rate less than inflation. Less than inflation.
“What were those two items? Defense and homeland security.
“That tells me how this administration prioritizes the role of our nation's security for our country.
“So, finally we've gotten to work on this bill, and there are some concerns because amendments need to be voted on, debated, and brought to this floor.
“I have introduced an amendment with the ranking member of the foreign relations committee to sanction the Nord Stream 2 Pipeline.
“A bipartisan agreement that that pipeline needed to be sanctioned and we've been fighting for that together in a bipartisan way through multiple administrations.
“This is Vladimir Putin's pipeline which Joe Biden has given the stamp of approval.
“It is a weapon that Putin is going to be using to hold half of Europe hostage.
“Under what this administration has been doing on energy, penalizing American energy production and begging Putin to produce more and sell it to us, this has been a jackpot for Vladimir Putin.
“Our amendment would do the right thing and block this president's present to Vladimir Putin, a Christmas present.
“This is at a time when with Joe Biden inflation we have many Americans worrying if they're going to be able to afford to buy Christmas presents.
“This is no time for our nation to give this present to Vladimir Putin. The Republican senator from Ohio introduced an important amendment to provide lethal aid to Ukraine.
‘Vladimir Putin has 100,000 troops right now staged on the border with Ukraine. We're going to stand by Ukraine and pass that amendment.
“The senator from Montana has an amendment to block Joe Biden from sending $400,000 to the families of illegal immigrants.
“An open border is a threat to our national security and these payments would cause a mad rush, if not a stampede to the country, and into the country the way the border has been left open.
“There are lots of important amendments, and we ought to be having a fair and open debate.
“This is supposed to be the greatest deliberative body in the world, and yet the majority leader has tried to cut off debate on some of the most important issues facing our nation.
“Why? Because we can hear the clock ticking. That's why.
“He dragged his feet for months, and now he wants to force us into a mad dash to close this. Look, it's a disservice to our troops.
“It's a disservice to our allies. It's a disservice to the people of our nation.
“Yet, this morning the majority leader is pointing his finger. He came to the floor, he attacked Republicans.
“We didn't make him delay this bill for month after month after month. This is a choice that the majority leader has made.
“It does seem that the other Democrats have higher priorities than our nation's defense. Election takeovers, new entitlements, amnesty for illegal immigrants.
“It's no way to govern, no way to make important decisions, no way to run the United States Senate.”