House Passes National Defense Authorization Act, Republicans’ Refuse to Consider Critical Amendments

For Immediate Release:

June 14, 2013

MESSAGE FROM THE DEMOCRATIC WHIP

On Monday, our nation marked the 50th anniversary of the Equal Pay Act, signed by President John F. Kennedy. While we've made progress in opening the doors of opportunity for women, we must take additional action to ensure equal pay for equal work, including swift consideration and passage of the Paycheck Fairness Act, of which I am a proud cosponsor. The Paycheck Fairness Act ensures that women are not discriminated against in their wages based on their sex and I hope Democrats and Republicans will come together to continue the fight for pay equity.

Today, the House passed the National Defense Authorization Act and while I support many provisions of this legislation that provide essential funding for our military and national security operations, I was disappointed that Republicans broke the agreement of the Budget Control Act by setting spending above sequester levels.  As a result, spending cuts will have to be shifted from defense programs onto other critical programs. 

I was equally disappointed that Republicans prevented the adoption of an amendment that would have provided President Obama with the flexibility necessary to close the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba – a facility which is a drain on our resources and damages our moral standing in the world. In addition, House Republicans blocked debate on two important amendments that would have expanded on the reforms already in the defense bill addressing sexual assault in the military. 

In the weeks ahead, I hope to work with my Republican colleagues to address the many critical issues facing our country, including preventing student loan interest rates from doubling on July 1, passing comprehensive immigration reform, going to conference on a budget that replaces the sequester and responsibly addressing our nation’s fiscal challenges.

Sincerely yours, 

STENY H. HOYER

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DEMOCRATIC NEWS UPDATE

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