Summary: Today at a press conference with Republican leaders, Speaker Ryan detailed how the funding bill will strengthen our military and boost our national defense.

Opening remarks:

“I want to highlight some of the important things that are in the funding bill that is coming to the floor this week. A couple of things.

“First, this puts more boots on the ground to bolster our border security. In fact, this is the biggest increase in border security funding in a decade.

“It provides more resources to combat the opioid epidemic, which is a high priority for Republicans here in Congress.

“It expands the school choice program—that’s something many of us feel very passionately about. It expands the DC school choice Opportunity Scholarship Program. 

“It maintains our pro-life protections. 

“It contains no new money for Obamacare. No insurance company bailouts.

“It makes major increases in defense spending while holding the line on non-defense. This is something that I think is really important that people are sort of missing in this really important story. I cannot understate how much of a game-changer this is—I used to negotiate budget agreements with the Obama administration.

“Under President Obama, Democrats insisted that an increase in defense spending be tied to an equal increase in non-defense spending. You want to help the troops? You want to help the military? I need just as much money for domestic discretionary spending. That was the Obama rule that we lived under for eight years. They insisted on this even as our military plunged further and further into a readiness crisis. 

“Well, we got to a point that our Air Force pilots were going to museums to find spare parts over the last eight yearsWe got to a point where some of our planes are so outdated that whole fleets would qualify for antique license plates in Virginia.

“This forced parity that we lived under under the Obama years really constrained our ability to rebuild our military for this century. This appropriations bill changes all of that. 

“No longer are the needs of our military going to be held hostage for increases in domestic spending. This means that we can finally make real, important strides to increase and improve our readiness. It means we can get our servicemembers the tools and the resources they need to confront the threats that we face all around the world.

“While we have lot more work to do to rebuild our military, this is a very big first step. Twenty-five billion dollars, year over year, for our military, and you do not have a corresponding $25 billion increase in domestic spending, which is what Obama would have requested and required. That is not here. We broke this parity, and we think this is a really important step in the right direction.

“The first responsibility of our government is national defense. Under President Trump, we are truly putting this first. We are excited that we’re honoring two big priorities: a big down payment on border security, and a big increase for our military so that they can do their jobs.”