Pelosi: Majority Plays Politics with Defense Appropriations Bill
Monday, December 19, 2005
Washington, D.C. -- House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi released the following statement today on the Defense Appropriations conference report, which passed the House early this morning. Republicans blocked Democratic efforts to take out unrelated provisions, including drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and a more than $8.5 billion across-the-board cut in spending. Below is Pelosi's statement:
"Democrats believe that there is no more fundamental responsibility than to support our troops. We owe them a deep debt of gratitude for their courage, their patriotism, and for their sacrifices they are willing to make for our country. To show my support for our troops, I reluctantly voted for this deeply flawed appropriations bill.
"But the way this bill passed is yet more evidence of the Majority's abuse of power. In the middle of the night, the Republicans played politics with a defense spending bill during a time of war, loading it up like a Christmas tree with proposals that could not pass Congress on their own - particularly drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and more than $8.5 billion in across-the-board spending cuts.
"The Majority wrapped up the biggest present for our oil companies - just as these oil companies make already historic and obscene profits, and American families pay record prices to heat their homes. What business does drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge have on the bill to fund our Department of Defense? Once they ruin ANWR, in the name of supporting our troops, nothing else is sacred.
"Meanwhile, in the midst of a war, this Congress wants to slash funding for our troops by $4 billion, potentially cutting funding for military pay, equipment for our troops in Iraq, and weapons to protect us here at home.
"They are also cutting funding in every other federal spending bill this Congress has already passed, cutting already underfunded critical homeland security initiatives by $300 million, cutting No Child Left Behind funding by $1 billion, and cutting assistance to state and local law enforcement.
"Instead of an irresponsible spending bill that has the wrong priorities, Democrats are working on behalf of all Americans, not the wealthy special interests."