Alexander: “No Justification” For Senate Democrats to Continue to Block Funding for Our Troops

Posted on September 6, 2016

Says for the third time this year, Senate Democrats have prevented the Senate from debating bipartisan legislation that will strengthen national security, help protect troops 

WASHINGTON, D.C., Sept. 6, 2016 – U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) today said Democrats have prevented the Senate for a third time from debating bipartisan legislation that would help to better protect the nation, support our troops and properly equip National Guard and Reserve forces.

“Senate Democrats have blocked the Senate from debating an appropriations bill that funds our troops and the defense of this country for the third time – for the third time. And there is no justification to do that,” Alexander said. “This bill would have given two million men and women serving in our military pay raises and provided $900 million to buy equipment for our National Guard and Reserve members. What are Senate Democrats here for if they don’t want to discuss and vote on national priorities, such as funding for our military? They should be here deciding the issues that face our country. Instead, Senate Democrats have blocked funding for our troops for the third time this year.”

Alexander continued: “The Republican Senate has had a very productive year – the most productive year in the Senate since 1990 – except for the appropriations process, which Democrats have stopped cold. We don’t have a gridlocked Congress, we have a bunch of gridlocked Democrats. It is time to get to work.”

The legislation is consistent with the spending limits Congress set in the Budget Control Act and the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015.

The House of Representatives passed its version of the Defense Appropriations Bill on June 16 by a vote of 282-138.

The Senate version of the Department of Defense Appropriations Bill would have provided funding for the following priorities that are important to Tennessee and to the nation:

  • A 1.6 percent pay raise for military personnel, including those stationed at Fort Campbell and Naval Support Activity Mid-South and support to 1,281,900 active duty troops and 801,200 reserve troops.
  • $900 million for the National Guard and Reserve Equipment Account, which would have helped the Guard and Reserve pay for new equipment and maintain and modernize existing equipment.
  • $25 million more than the president requested to continue the Special Victims Counsel Program to provide legal assistance and support to victims of sexual assault in the military.

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For access to this release and the senator’s other statements, click here.

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