Appropriations Committee Republicans Will Oppose Defense Bill with Debt Limit Increase
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Appropriations Ranking Republican Jerry Lewis, along with every Republican member of his committee, sent a letter today to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Appropriations Chairman David Obey to state their clear opposition to a Democrat plan to attach controversial and costly legislative items – such as an increase to the U.S. debt limit – to a must-pass defense funding bill. The text of the letter is below.
December 9, 2009
Dear Speaker Pelosi and Chairman Obey,
We are writing today to express our extreme concern over the potential composition of a Fiscal Year 2010 Defense Appropriations bill package, and the process by which you intend to bring the bill to the House floor.
Recent reports indicate that you are considering attaching costly and controversial non-defense legislative items like an increase in the debt limit to the Defense Appropriations bill. We object to this maneuver, and we will oppose a Defense Appropriations package that includes such provisions.
Let us be very clear: House Republican members of the Appropriations Committee will not support passage of the Defense Appropriations measure if it is used as a vehicle to raise the debt limit.
Our troops have been aggressively fighting to protect American interests overseas and our security here at home. Their exemplary service has accomplished much in ensuring the safety of all Americans and stopping terrorist threats around the globe. Now, especially with a heightened effort beginning in Afghanistan, we must honor the service of our troops by providing them with the support they need to accomplish the mission.
Our men and women in uniform deserve this support without strings and caveats, and without being used as bargaining chips to accomplish other unrelated legislative priorities.
It has been four months since the House passed its version of the Defense Appropriations bill, and two months since the Senate did the same. However, this critically important piece of legislation has languished in legislative purgatory, being held hostage to indecision and partisan maneuvering. There is no valid reason why a clean
Defense Appropriations bill could not have already been approved and signed into law, giving our troops a much needed infusion of resources, as well as the knowledge that they have the support of their Congressional leaders.
Congress should move immediately to pass a clean Defense Appropriations bill as prompt action on this legislation is vital to the well-being of our troops and our national security. However, while time is of the essence, we will not support a process that circumvents basic legislative responsibilities in order for the Democrat majority to force through controversial and costly legislative items.
It is time to pass a clean Fiscal Year 2010 Defense Appropriations bill that we all can be proud to support. Our troops deserve no less as we bring this challenging year to a close.
C.W. Bill Young
Frank R. Wolf
Rodney P. Frelinghuysen
Robert B. Aderholt
Jo Ann Emerson
Michael K. Simpson
John Abney Culberson
Mark Steven Kirk
Dennis R. Rehberg
John R. Carter