Delay in Passing Defense Bill Jeopardizes National Security

On the floor, U.S. Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) discussed the critical need to pass the National Defense Authorization Act and urged Leader Schumer to bring it to the floor for a vote before the end of the year. Excerpts of Sen. Cornyn’s remarks are below, and video can be found here.

From Russia's invasion of Ukraine to the Chinese Communist Party's growing hostility to the West, to North Korea and Iran's nuclear aspirations, to a Taliban-controlled Afghanistan, the threats we face today are as diverse as they are significant.

We're now in a position where we can't choose between a large force and an advanced one. We need both.

Another short-term funding bill would hamstring the procurement of those needed weapons and other military assets. It would lead to delays in all three legs of the nuclear triad, stall our research and development efforts, delay critical investments in barracks, child care centers, and other infrastructure projects. It would disrupt the training schedule for our brave service members. It would cause unnecessary disruptions of military families who already are sacrificing a lot, and it would hamper our recruitment efforts in an all-volunteer military.

Stopgap funding bills should only be used as a last resort. They are not a responsible way for Congress to operate or for the U.S. government to govern.

Our Democratic colleagues have had a majority in both the Senate and the House and despite having ample time, they failed to advance any appropriations bills so far this year.

This is a miserable way and, frankly, an embarrassing way for Congress to do business, and it is potentially dangerous, too.

Our colleagues on the Senate Armed Services Committee, led by Senator Reed, a Democrat, Senator Inhofe, a Republican, completed their work on the national defense authorization bill last summer. This year's national defense authorization bill was filed on July 18, four and a half months ago.

Now we're at the end of November, and the national defense authorization bill hasn't even hit the Senate floor. So not only are we talking about not appropriating the money so that our national security leaders can plan and implement the sort of needed investments that are critical in a great power competition - we don't even have the authorization bill on the floor.

There's no question that we have to get this done before the end of the year.

Our adversaries are watching us, and when they see us inflicting self-inflicted damage to our credibility and our commitment to national security, they don't fail to notice. By failing to pass the national defense authorization bill and the appropriations bill, we will be stealing time that the Defense Department does not have.


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