Summary: Today, Speaker Ryan urged House members to support the Bipartisan Budget Act—legislation that will give the military the proper—and long overdue—funding it needs.
“Our government has no higher responsibility than to support our men and women who are in harm’s way. For months now, we have been working to get our military the resources it needs to keep the peace. This budget agreement delivers on that commitment.
“It fully funds our national defense at levels that Secretary Mattis has requested. It provides what the Pentagon needs to restore our military’s edge for years to come. As Secretary Mattis said yesterday, and I quote, ‘Congressional action will ensure our military can defend our way of life.’
“Now that mission is hard enough, especially in a time of rapidly-evolving threats. But our military’s job has become exponentially harder because of the staggering readiness crisis that it is facing. I know I come up here and read off a whole bunch of statistics—you hear me do this every single week. This is the statistic that really gets to me: In 2017, we lost 80 service members in accidents and training incidents—nearly four times more than we lost in combat. In 2017, we lost 80 service members in accidents and training incidents—that’s about four times as many people we lost in combat. Just think about that.
“With better training and equipment, many of these deaths could have been prevented. This is a sad, and tragic, state of affairs. And this is why we can never allow anyone to politicize our military, or use our troops as bargaining chips. The stakes are just too high for this.
“Now, let me say one more thing: I know that there is a real commitment to solving the DACA challenge in both political parties. That’s a commitment that I share. To anyone who doubts my intention to solve this problem and bring up a DACA and immigration reform bill, do not. We will bring a solution to the floor, one that the president will sign. We must pass this budget agreement first though, so that we can get on to that. So please know that we are committed to getting this done.
“Before I turn it over to Chairman Thornberry, I want to take a moment, and I want to thank him. I want to thank Mac Thornberry, chairman of the Armed Services Committee, and all of the members of the Armed Services Committee, both Republicans and Democrats. Their leadership, and their unwavering commitment to our service members and their families, made this budget agreement possible. They live and breathe these problems. They know these issues. They know all the people who are fighting to keep us safe. They can tell you as well as anyone how critical it is that we get this done.”