WASHINGTON, D.C. – At his weekly press conference, House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy (CA-23) expressed his continued frustration in the new Socialist Democrat majority for their failure to put our American troops over politics and pass a historically bipartisan National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) and honor the past-58 years of bipartisan tradition to pass the NDAA.
Leader McCarthy also highlighted a new low a new low for the majority for their handling of the Military Surviving Spouses Equity Act, a bill sponsored by Rep. Joe Wilson (SC-02) and cosponsored by 365 other members that would make it easier for spouses of service members who have died to receive military benefits.
Highlights are below, or watch the full press conference here.
On the Democrats’ Failure to Pass the National Defense Authorization Act:
“This week the chamber stands on the verge of breaking a record. And not one that this body should be proud of.
“For nearly six decades, Republicans and Democrats have put politics aside when it’s come to the National Defense Authorization Act, known as the NDAA.
“Regardless of the inherent political disagreements between both of our parties, the NDAA has long been considered a sacred process. But that will change this week. Not in the Senate, where it passed bipartisan, but in this House. I want to give you two reasons why.
“First, this bill is packed with poison pills to appease this new Socialist-Democrat Party.
“[The bill] cuts troop funding. It makes cuts to our military’s personnel accounts, the same accounts that fund troop pay, benefits, and housing.
“[The bill] makes America less safe. It cuts essential programs and capabilities needed to keep a competitive edge over China and Russia, such as hypersonics.
“[The bill] closes GITMO. It seeks to close GITMO’s facility, which would create a pathway to relocating known terrorists to U.S. soil.
“Second, the Democrats’ partisan process is an egregious rejection to our common commitment to our troops.
“In those six decades, Democrats and Republicans have both been in the majority at times and they always put the troops first. This year it does not…
On the Democrats’ Stripping the Language from the Military Surviving Spouses Equity Act:
“But I really want to draw attention to is probably the most shameful act I’ve seen. What this new Socialist Democrat majority party just did to Joe Wilson of South Carolina.
“Joe has a bill, the Military Surviving Spouses Equity Act. It has 365 cosponsors — nearly the entire House. Joe Wilson worked on this bill and went individually to members to get them to cosponsor this bill – not just to say they would support it, but to cosponsor this bill.
“The bill would make it easier for spouses of service members who have died to receive military benefits.
“If you know at the beginning of this Congress, there was a lot of discussion about changing the process of this Congress.
“The bill was set to be the first qualifying for the Consensus Calendar. Remember that? It was one of the “reforms” the House Democrats promised. They promised before [Nancy Pelosi] was elected Speaker that she would create one, and said it was intended to open the House floor up to bills that everyone agreed upon. Those were the rules. That’s what Joe Wilson worked towards, believing that the rules actually meant something.
“Turns out this was just another broken promise.
“This week they stripped the language from Joe Wilson — discarded his legislation and stuck it into a partisan NDAA that our conference won’t support. They put it into a bill that Joe Wilson can’t even support now. After he did all this work, and after they made the promise not just to the members of Congress but to the American people that they were going to open this up — he abided by the rules, and when he was able to achieve it, [House Democrats] decided to change the rules.
“This majority has reached a new low.
From Rolling Stone to Throwing Stones:
“I know I sit here and talk about legislation, and when I watch the news, a lot of the talk is about the war within this new Socialist Democratic Party. It’s interesting, a few short months [ago], I watched the Speaker and a lot of those freshmen smile on the cover of the Rolling Stone magazine, and now I’m just watching stones being thrown at one another.
“We have real problems in America that we have to solve. I know they have real challenges within their own Conference, but to take 60 years of bipartisanship making troops come first, because [House Democrats] can’t get along, to make something become partisan to appease the Socialist wing of their party…
“When it comes to our national security, our differences should be checked at the door and troops should ALWAYS come before politics.”