For Immediate Release
June 9, 2016
CONTACT: Ian Jannetta – 202-225-1527
Van Hollen Statement on Republican National Security Agenda
“This ‘agenda’ is merely an attempt to distract the American people from the fact that Republicans are ready to hand over our national security and the nuclear codes to someone as dangerous as Donald Trump.”
Washington, DC – Today Maryland Congressman Chris Van Hollen, Ranking Member of the House Budget Committee, released the following statement on the national security portion of the so-called “A Better Way” agenda unveiled by House Republicans:
“The list of national security recommendations that House Republicans released today is underpinned by funding gimmicks that put our troops overseas at risk and GOP spending plans that slash billions of dollars from the part of the budget that supports our veterans and strengthens our homeland security. This ‘agenda’ is merely an attempt to distract the American people from the fact that Republicans are ready to hand over our national security and the nuclear codes to someone as dangerous as Donald Trump.
“Last month, Republicans brought to the House floor a defense authorization bill that cuts $18 billion from what our military commanders say is needed to support our troops deployed overseas in order to purchase weapons systems and other items our military didn’t request. Consequently, troops serving in Iraq and Afghanistan will run out of funds half way through the year and would then rely on Congress passing an emergency supplemental to fill the funding gap. We shouldn’t gamble with the troops we send off to battle. They deserve predictable support for the entire year as they execute their missions, particularly in view of the dangers they face.
“Republicans have proposed reckless budget cuts that would leave many national security priorities insufficiently funded, including first responders, aviation security, border security, port security, veterans’ health care, cyber security, and diplomatic operations. As the GOP begins taking its marching orders from Donald Trump, Americans will see right past their attempt to cover up reckless Republican budgets that put our security at risk.
“In contrast, Democrats advocate a national security strategy that is both strong and smart, one that ensures the troops have all the resources they need for the full year and that ensures full support for our border patrol, police, firefighters, Veterans Affairs doctors and nurses, diplomats, and many others across the government working to keep the country safe.”