WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) delivered the following remarks today on the Senate floor regarding essential funding for the government:
‘Nearly every day I’ve come to the floor to talk about the key pieces of legislation that we’ll only be able to complete with bipartisan cooperation. Really essential things — like funding for the entirety of our federal government, including for our men and women in uniform. The money for the tools and the training and the weapons that our volunteer servicemembers need to complete their missions.
‘Things like the National Defense Authorization Act, which Congress has passed every single year, always on a bipartisan basis, for the last 58 years. This is literally the bill that re-authorizes the U.S. military. It could not be more basic or fundamental.
‘So it’s dismaying that my Democratic colleagues have seen fit to hold these basic duties hostage for the sake of picking fights with the White House. For advancing a partisan domestic agenda.
‘It’s disappointing that Speaker Pelosi and the Democratic Leader have abandoned their own written promises that they would not make our bipartisan appropriations process conditional on poison pills, policy riders, or changes to presidential transfer authorities. Even though they put that in writing, they’ve chosen to shoehorn partisan demands right back into this process.
‘So, we are stalled. But today, I want to keep this very simple. The Senate’s dispensation on that Hong Kong legislation proves that we can still work together when our core principles and our national interest are at stake.
‘Of course those things are exactly what’s at stake with defense funding and the NDAA.
‘So let’s get serious. At long last, let’s get serious.
‘Chairman Shelby and Chairwoman Lowey have agreed on subcommittee allocations. Chairman Inhofe and Senator Reed made strides on our bipartisan NDAA. I implore my Democratic friends — stop gambling our national security on the roulette wheel of domestic politics. Stop putting political theater ahead of our troops.
‘We all know this is a heated political moment. But domestic politics do not excuse our men and women in uniform from doing their duties. So they cannot excuse our Democratic colleagues from doing theirs. Our servicemembers need Congress to have their backs.
‘We can only fund the government if it’s bipartisan. We can only pass an NDAA if it’s bipartisan.
‘We have the roadmaps in hand. We have the same traditions that have yielded 58 bipartisan NDAAs in a row, and we have the bipartisan agreement that everyone signed just a few months ago, when Speaker Pelosi and the Democratic Leader promised in writing they wouldn’t throw partisan wrenches into appropriations.
‘Our country can’t afford for Democrats to obsess over impeachment and obstruct everything else. Let’s use these roadmaps. Let’s get these things done.’
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