One of our top priorities for 2018 is to rebuild our military so it remains the best in the world. Unforutnately, greater funding for our military—and a budget agreement to allow for it—have been taken hostage by Democrats as they seek leverage in an unrelated immigration debate. This dangerous political strategy puts our men and women in uniform at risk, and it needs to end now.
The United States today faces the most complex and challenging security environment in modern history, so we need our military to stay one step ahead of the rest of the world. To do this, we need to fully fund the Department of Defense to ensure our men and women in uniform have to tools they need to complete their missions.
This week, the House Appropriations Committee reintroduced legislation to fully fund the Pentagon at levels recommended by our military leaders. This will in fact be the third time the House acts to provide the resources our military needs. Similar bills passed the House on July 27, 2017 and September 14, 2017, but they stalled in the Senate due to objections from Democrats.
As Appropriations Defense Subcommittee Chairwoman Kay Granger (R-TX) said yesterday, “It is past time that this essential, must-pass Department of Defense funding bill is enacted into law. Congress must act responsibly and quickly to get these dollars out the door and where they are needed as soon as possible.”
Time and again, Senate Democrats have stonewalled attempts to fund our military at the levels we need. A necessary agreement to adjust budget caps has never been held up over immigration policy. This is not just irresponsible—it’s dangerous. By holding our military hostage for political gamesmanship, they are jeopardizing our national security and leaving our troops vulnerable on the battlefield.
Just this past wekeend, congressional Democrats were decrying the effects that short-term funding bills have on our military. We agree. And here is their chance to provide the certainty our military needs to plan for the future.
As Speaker Ryan said in his remarks to the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) last week, “Our men and women in uniform are not bargaining chips—they are our nation’s best and brightest, who put their lives on the line for us.”
We hope that, once the House passes this bill (again), Senate Democrats will drop their partisan demands and join us in giving our troops what they need. They are counting on us.