Mariel Saez 202-225-3130
WASHINGTON, DC – House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) released the following statement today on the passage of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2018:
“Today, Democrats and Republicans in the House came together to pass legislation supporting the work of our men and women in uniform. The defense authorization bill remains a crucial component of our national defense, setting the priorities for investment in our military for the year ahead. While I voted for this year’s House defense authorization bill, I remain concerned about its impact on the long-term fiscal health of our country. If we cannot get our deficits and debt under control, we will be less able to invest in meeting the national security challenges our country faces at home and abroad.
“The House’s defense authorization bill makes no pretense of adhering to the Budget Control Act’s funding caps, blowing through agreed-upon defense spending levels by $72.5 billion. This is in addition to hiding an extra $10 billion worth of base defense spending in the emergency Overseas Contingency Operations fund. If we are to get serious about fiscal sustainability, Congress must be more strategic about budgeting – something that this Republican Majority has ignored by refusing even to adopt a budget resolution for the fiscal year covered by this authorization.
“I am glad that this bill does not include the dangerous and discriminatory amendment offered by Rep. Hartzler, which would have banned the military from providing certain essential health care services to transgender personnel. I am thankful that several Republican Members joined with Democrats to defeat that amendment and send a message to our transgender service-members and transgender Americans looking to enlist that our nation values their eagerness to serve in uniform. I hope the Senate will now take up this defense authorization bill and make improvements that keep discriminatory amendments out and better address the national security threat posed by our long-term debt.”