July 15, 2010
Appropriations Committee Republicans Introduce a “Clean” Troop Funding and Disaster Assistance Supplemental
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Republicans on the House Appropriations Committee today introduced a “clean” troop funding and disaster assistance emergency supplemental bill. If allowed a vote on the House floor by Democrat leaders, the urgently needed military and disaster relief funding could be approved by as early as next week. The House Democrat leadership has been holding up and manipulating the critical legislation – which was originally requested by the President last February – for political use as a vehicle to pass extraneous and unnecessary spending items that could otherwise not stand on their own.
“Funding levels for our troops are now approaching the critical stage. We are quickly reaching the point where congressional inaction will force our commanders to begin making budget decisions that could compromise our military readiness in the field. This would signal to our enemies a lack of resolve that could undermine our mission in several very dangerous areas of the world,” Lewis said.
For almost six months, Republican Appropriators have been calling for action on a “clean” supplemental – one that includes funding only for true emergencies such as military resources, Gulf oil spill recovery, and assistance for natural disasters. Yet, Democrat leaders have continued to play political games with the legislation, which has resulted in long delays and now a stalemate with the Senate over billions in extraneous spending that has been attached to the bill by House Democrats.
The legislation is urgently needed. A Pentagon spokesperson told the media yesterday that without immediate action on the supplemental, Army and Marine Corps accounts will run dry in August. He also stated that the Pentagon will then have to take extreme measures, including asking people to report for duty without pay.
“I cannot imagine a more discouraging and disrespectful way to treat our troops who are putting everything on the line for our country. I know my Democrat colleagues will say this Supplemental is now in the hands of the Senate, but the fact is that it is their insistence on adding extraneous items to this critical legislation that has held up this bill for six months and counting,” Lewis said.
“If the Democrat leadership of the House would just let our clean supplemental come to the floor, the bill could be on the President’s desk and the funding could be in the hands of our military commanders by next week,” he continued. “If no action on a clean supplemental occurs by next week, I may seek to amend another Appropriations bill in full committee to include the Republican clean supplemental.”