Senator David Perdue Calls on Senate Democrats to Stop Obstructing Veterans Bill

“Our veterans sacrificed so much for our freedom...We cannot fail them”

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator David Perdue (R-GA), a member of the Senate Budget and Foreign Relations Committees, today called on Senate Democrats to stop obstructing debate for H.R. 2029, the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, one of the 12 critical appropriations bills Congress must pass to responsibly fund the federal government.

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“I rise today to speak about the Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies Appropriations bill.

I’m very encouraged this bill has finally come to the floor of the United States Senate. I also would like to remind my colleagues that the Senate Appropriations Committee has put forward 12 appropriations bills that reflect the priorities of the American people and the budget we passed back in April. 

Let me remind my colleagues, that budget took $7 trillion dollars out of President Obama’s proposed budget over the next ten years, and yet, here we are today in October facing the reality that since April we have not been able to debate, on this floor, those 12 appropriations bills.

You have heard all year that we need to get back to regular order—and that means the Senate needs to bring up and debate each of these 12 bills individually. However, due to Democratic obstructionism, the federal government is operating under a short-term funding measure and the Senate has not been able to debate any of these 12 funding bills.

It is time for the political posturing to stop. People back home don’t understand. I don’t either. 

Senate Democrats are again acting as a roadblock and preventing progress. The American people sent us up here to govern responsibly and it is time for Senate Democrats to start living up to this expectation, particularly when it comes to funding our government.

In this vote today, Senate Democrats are blocking us from moving forward with a bill to fund military construction projects that help our troops and support key veterans programs, many of which need reform after being plagued by backlogs and scandals for years. 

We must make good on our nation’s promise to our veterans and provide our troops with the facilities they need to work, train, and fulfill the mission of the United States Armed Forces. 

Senate Democrats just voted against improvements to the VA electronic health records system so that veterans’ records are safely and seamlessly accessed among agencies and the private sector.  

They just voted against increased transparency for the VA disability claims system to reduce the backlog for those veterans who need help the most.

They just voted against much-needed oversight of VA construction projects, like the VA hospital in Aurora, Colorado that is over $1 billion dollars over budget.

Additionally, they just voted against construction of the second missile defense site in Poland, a project that is an important deterrent against Russian aggression in Eastern Europe and had been previously scrapped by President Obama. 

Our nation is currently dealing with a global security crisis. We must take recent Russian aggressions and take the rise of great power rivals very seriously.

Just yesterday, Russia launched airstrikes in Syria to prop up President Bashar al-Assad in a strategy our own Defense Secretary, Ash Carter, described as counterproductive and equated to ‘pouring gasoline on the fire.’ 

Clearly, we must make sure our troops have the resources they need to protect our country.

Because of that, I am shocked my colleagues across the aisle just voted to delay construction for our military facilities—facilities our troops depend on to train for current conflicts, and to prepare for whatever the future holds.

Most appalling of all, Senate Democrats voted today to block this bill even after we’ve learned that many of our veterans, tens of thousands of our veterans, have died while waiting for the care they need and deserve. 

This is unconscionable and the brinkmanship we are seeing from Senate Democrats is unacceptable. 

Our veterans sacrificed so much for our freedom, and our servicemen and women are currently putting their lives in jeopardy every day for us, and our families. We cannot fail them. 

This bipartisan funding bill does a lot of important things for our nation, but most importantly it supports our American heroes.

Like most of my colleagues, I have traveled this year and met with our fighting women and men on front lines. The best, the very best, of America is in uniform today and they deserve our full support.  

Today, I call on my colleagues across the aisle to stop blocking these important bills. Let’s get them on the floor and negotiate—compromise if we have to—but get to a conclusion where we can fund the men and women defending our freedom.  

We now have 72 days to return to regular order and debate these important appropriations bills so the priorities of our veterans, our military, and the American people can once and for all be restored. 

I sincerely hope that all of my colleagues in this body will not disappoint the American people yet again.”