July 28, 2010
Lewis Offers Support of Military Construction-Veterans Funding Bill, But Slams Democrats’ Manipulative Process
WASHINGTON, D.C. – House Appropriations Ranking Republican Jerry Lewis today supported Appropriations legislation to fund Military Construction and Veterans Affairs (MilCon-VA) programs for the next fiscal year. The legislation, which contains nearly $76 billion in funding, is in line with last year’s spending levels, as well as the President’s request for these programs.
The bill provides critical and much-needed funding for military construction and family housing for our troops and their families, and other quality of life construction projects. It also provides important funding for veterans programs, including survivor compensation, pension payments for disabled veterans, widows and children, housing, and veterans’ medical care and treatment.
“The men and women of our armed forces and our veterans deserve the very best support and care that the Congress can provide, and the prompt passage of the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations bill will signal a commitment to their well being and respect for their service,” House Appropriations Ranking Republican Jerry Lewis said.
However, while Lewis offered his support for the underlying legislation, he blasted Democrat leaders for the closed and manipulative process by which the bill was considered on the House Floor. Under normal circumstances, any Member of Congress can offer amendments to spending bills on the House floor. However, the Democrat majority – in a desperate move to avoid tough votes three months before an election – shut down this standard practice, preventing the fair representation of millions of Americans and instead allowing only a small, handpicked selection of amendments to be considered.
“This troop and veterans funding bill was crafted in a collaborative fashion and has had bi-partisan support since the very beginning. There is absolutely no reason why, at this point in time, the Democrat majority would throw this good will out the window, shut down the open process, and sideline the interests of millions of Americans who can no longer be fairly represented on the House floor,” Lewis said.
Lewis also indicated that in this period of economic struggle and record deficits, it is also critically important to keep a careful eye on government spending in all areas, including spending related to the military and veterans.
“While the legislation deserves support, Republicans also remain committed to the responsibility of Congress to keep a close eye on taxpayer dollars to avoid excess government spending – especially for chronically flawed programs – that will ultimately be detrimental to our troops or veterans,” Lewis said.