Byrne Votes to End Harmful Military Cuts
Congressman Bradley Byrne (R-AL), a member of the House Armed Services Committee, issued the following statement after voting in favor of legislation to end dangerous budget cuts to our military.
Congressman Byrne said: “Prior to the vote, I received calls from both White House Chief of Staff John Kelly and Secretary of Defense James Mattis asking me to support the budget bill. They both strongly expressed that this is the best deal possible to end the harmful cuts to our military and, on behalf of President Trump, asked for my support. Given my commitment to our national defense, I cast my vote in favor of the bill.”
The bill passed by a vote of 240 to 186.
In addition to the calls from John Kelly and Secretary Mattis, President Donald Trump also tweeted his support for the budget agreement saying “The Budget Agreement today is so important for our great Military. It ends the dangerous sequester and gives Secretary Mattis what he needs to keep America Great. Republicans and Democrats must support our troops and support this Bill!”
House Armed Services Committee Chairman Mac Thornberry (R-TX) commended Byrne for his support of the budget agreement.
Chairman Mac Thornberry said: “This budget legislation is critically important to our nation’s military, and I appreciate Congressman Byrne’s support. He is a valued member of the Armed Services Committee, especially on issues important to the U.S. Navy. I look forward to continuing to work together to ensure our servicemen and women have all the tools they need to do their job and defend our country.”
Secretary of Defense Mattis has been steadfast in his commitment to rebuilding the military and urged Congress to pass legislation repealing the dangerous budget cuts during testimony before the House Armed Services Committee earlier this week.
Secretary Mattis said: “Let me be clear: as hard as the last 16 years of war have been, no enemy in the field has done more to harm the readiness of the U.S. military than the combined impact of the Budget Control Act’s defense spending caps, worsened by operating in 10 of the last 11 years under continuing resolutions of varied and unpredictable duration… To carry out the strategy you rightly directed we develop, we need you to pass a budget now.”
Among the many various provisions, the bill would:
- End the sequestration cuts to national defense that have hurt military readiness;
- Ensure full funding for our national defense this year;
- Break Democrats demand that any increase in defense spending be matched dollar-for-dollar in non-defense spending increases;
- Authorize additional funding to reduce the backlog at the Veterans Administration;
- Dedicate $20 billion for investment in America’s infrastructure;
- Repeal Obamacare’s Independent Patient Advisory Board (IPAB);
- Extend funding for Community Health Centers and give much needed regulatory certainty to Alabama’s rural hospitals;
- Establish a committee to address the broken Congressional budget process; and
- Provide disaster relief funding for hurricanes and other natural disasters.
Notably, the bill does not include any provisions related to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which was a top priority of many Democrats.