U.S. SENATE — U.S. Senator Steve Daines (R-MT) today joined Senators Dan Sullivan (R-AK), Joni Ernst (R-IA) and Thom Tillis (R-NC) in a colloquy on the Senate floor to speak about the Democratic filibuster of the FY 2017 Defense Appropriations Bill.
The funding bill came out of the Senate Committee on Appropriations with the unanimous support of Democrat and Republican members. However, Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid said that his members are blocking critical funding for our troops so that his party wouldn’t be at the “mercy” of Republicans.
As all of the members said in the colloquy, this filibuster comes at a time when we have seen dramatic developments, just in the past week, relating to global security — North Korean submarine missile test, the deployment of 560 additional troops to Iraq, continued provocations by Russia, Chinese live-fire exercises in the South China Sea, and the President’s announcement that more troops will be staying in Afghanistan than he previously committed.
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“We need to make sure our military forces have the tools they need to win,” Senator Steve Daines stated. “Our enemies aren’t waiting around for Senate Democrats to fund our military to make it a fair fight.”
“In one of the most volatile times in our history, Minority Leader Harry Reid is blocking this critical funding to try and gain political leverage. It’s a disgrace,” Senator Dan Sullivan said. “Our enemies and our adversaries are the ones who truly gain leverage when we in Congress don’t commit to funding our troops. I call on my colleagues on the other side of the aisle to do the right thing for our troops and for our national security.”
“The fact that we would reject funding for our forward deployed soldiers is appalling to me,” said Senator Joni Ernst. “These are my brothers and sisters. These are my friends, my neighbors, my colleagues. They are fighting on behalf of the United States. But the United States is now turning its back, with a filibuster, on these troops. How dare our colleagues block a bill to fund our military while our troops are deployed.”
“The Democratic conference has decided to say ‘no’ to funding our troops. They have decided to say ‘no’ to funding important training that is necessary to make sure they can complete highly dangerous and complex missions wherever a threat may occur,” said Senator Thom Tillis. “There are more than 100,000 active duty soldiers in North Carolina. What do I tell them when I go home? In spite of all of these threats, politics is above the principal of funding our troops and protecting our nation? This is politics at its worst. We need to send this bill to the President’s desk and show respect to the men and women who have sworn an oath to lay down their life for the cost of freedom.”