09.16.16

Senator David Perdue Calls for a Stop to Political Games with Military Funding

“Democrats are endangering our women and men in uniform and they are not doing their job.”

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator David Perdue (R-GA) this week spoke on the Senate floor to call out Senate Democrats for putting partisan politics before Americans in uniform around the world.

Click here to view the speech or click on the image below.

DOD

Transcript:

Let me share a few highlights of what I’ve seen just in the press in the last few weeks:

“Obama administration again underestimates Islamic State as Afghan affiliate grows into threat.”

“DC transit police officer charged with aiding ISIS.”

“ISIS increasingly using women and children to terrorize France.”

“Five US troops wounded in combat with ISIS in Afghanistan.”

“Vladimir Putin’s rumblings raise new fears of Ukraine conflict.”

“Russia holds biggest military drill yet in Crimea.”

“Iran escalates high seas harassment of US Navy.”

“Iran threatens to destroy Israel with ‘100,000 missiles.’”

“North Korea conducts fifth nuclear test, claims it has made warheads with ‘higher strike power.’”

“South Korea prepares for ‘worst case scenario’ with North Korea.”

These are just a few samples of headlines in the last few weeks alone. What we see right now going on in the United States Senate is gridlock, and it is creating the backlash we are seeing in the presidential race right now. People back home know Washington is dysfunctional and not working.

Right now we have a situation where Democrats are blocking defense appropriations so yet again, the Senate has re-entered this period of dysfunction.

The world is more dangerous than it has been at any time in my lifetime, and I’m a product of the nuclear age—the Cold War.

I grew up in a military town where at one point we had B-52s there. I remember during the Cuban Missile Crisis, we had KC-135s, B-52s, C-141s all flying out of there in support of the blockade over Cuba. Yet today, I believe the world is more dangerous than it has ever been.

Right now, we face a global security crisis. I believe it is on several levels.

First, the rise of aggressiveness in Russia and China partially caused by our own intransigence by creating power vacuums around the world and encouraging this behavior.

Second, I believe ISIS is a product of our own creation in many ways. The early removal of our troops in Iraq created a vacuum into which ISIS has grown. They needed territory to validate their caliphate and they got that.

We now face nuclear proliferation in Iran and in North Korea.

We have a cyber war going on today. I personally believe we’ve been invaded, which means we are at war today by nation states around the world. Two brigades are being stood up in my home state in Augusta, Georgia, at Fort Gordon. Two of 31 brigades in the United States Army. I am proud of those people. They are going to stand up to this threat.

Lastly, we have an arms race in space that nobody is talking about. In my lifetime, I have never seen the symmetric threats and the asymmetric threats that we face in our country today.

Ensuring that our women and men in uniform – those protecting freedom around the world – should never be open to political games, not least of all now in the face of all these myriad threats. But Senate Democrats in this body don’t feel that way obviously.

Since I came to the United States Senate, our colleagues across the aisle have blocked funding for our military six times. Six times in my tenure here alone. Democratic members of this body have put their partisan games before funding and their support of our troops and that’s after the appropriations bill passed committee by a vote of 30 to 0.

14 Democrats and 16 Republicans got together in a room and
worked their differences out. Isn’t that we were sent here to do?

That’s what they did. They passed this bill in committee. There is no debate here. Everyone in this body wants this bill.

I just don’t understand why they are holding this bill hostage for partisan political games, which they are playing right now.

One of six reasons why 13 colonies came together in the first place was to provide for the national defense.

Yet over 200 years later – in the midst of a global security crisis – Congress can’t even get that done. Congress can’t fund our government and fund our military without drama.

What message does that send to our women and men in uniform around the world? Can you imagine? They can’t even depend on us here in this body to fund the needs that they have every day.

This is a total breakdown in the system. Democrats are endangering our women and men in uniform, and they are not doing their job.

I’m outraged by this, Georgians back home are outraged, and people around the country are outraged.  

Is anyone surprised that less than 20% of Americans trust the federal government? I’m not surprised at all.

As I’ve said before, Democrats claim they want to support our military. They tell us all their heart-wrenching stories. Some of my colleagues have children in uniform. They call for action. Yet they’re the ones blocking us from this bill and blocking us from debating on the floor on the United States Senate.

I don’t understand that at a time when we should be united in the face of global threats. The brinkmanship and gridlock permeating Washington is simply disgraceful.

America must lead again, and one of the first steps in doing so is providing funding for our military.

I’ve travelled around the world a lot in the last year and half. The number one request I get from heads of state we talk with is, America needs to lead again.

They are not asking us to be the policemen anymore. They just need us to lead to common solutions against these same threats that threaten their countries just like they threaten ours.

We’ve got to lead again, but to do that we’ve got to have a strong foreign policy. To have a strong foreign policy, we have to have a strong defense. To have a strong defense, we have to have a strong economy.

We know about the debt crisis. We can’t fix our military—we can’t re-cap our military—without having a strong economy and solving the debt crisis.

One of the biggest complaints I hear when we do continuing resolutions, and that’s what we do when we don’t do our jobs by the way, is that it really hurts the military’s ability to plan and train. They can’t look forward. They are so worried about getting funded today.  

I’ve seen those shortfalls around the world.

This is what it’s come to.

My colleagues across the aisle believe that their political game in this presidential election season is more important than our women and men in uniform, and more important than protecting our country.

This is not a partisan comment. This is fact. I’m an outsider to this process. I have to tell you I feel the same outrage that the people back home feel.

We can no longer take our security for granted. We can no longer take our military prowess for granted, and we can no longer take our women and men in uniform for granted.

I firmly believe our Founders would be outraged by what is going on right now.

Senator William Few was the very first person in 1789 that stood in my seat, right here. In the Senate room just down the hall. William Few. As ironically as it is, a direct descendant of his was on my staff when I ran for this office.

I think that man would be absolutely apoplectic about us not funding our military.

Can you imagine? Somebody who put their life on the line back then. Looking at what we are doing right now. The nonsense that we have going on.

The stakes are far too high for this nonsense to continue. Democrats must drop this obstructionism. It’s time for Washington to fund our military and pass the defense appropriations bill and move on to fund our government.”