Ryan Statement on Supplemental Spending Bill and SeniorCare Provision
The House of Representatives voted today on a war supplemental spending bill that provides necessary funding to support U.S. troops but pairs this with about $17 billion in non-war and non-emergency spending that adds to the deficit. The vote took place in two parts - one vote on funding for our troops in Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere; and a separate vote on a wide range of projects and policies unrelated to the war. Since the House passed both portions, they will be automatically joined together into one legislative vehicle and sent to the Senate.
First District Congressman Paul Ryan voted in favor of the troop-funding portion of the bill, but opposed adding unrelated, non-emergency spending to the emergency war supplemental bill - even though he supports some provisions that are included in the non-defense related part, including an extension of the waiver for Wisconsin's SeniorCare program through December 2009.
"Congress needs to deliver the funding for equipment and other resources for our troops. They have been waiting too long while congressional leaders played politics and passed unworkable bills," Ryan said. "I'm glad they have dropped their demand for surrender dates that send the wrong message to our enemies and to Iraqis who are still deciding whether to support their government. This bill supports our troops and their mission, instead of cutting off funds and eliminating the chance for the ongoing surge to succeed in stabilizing Iraq before our forces leave."
"It's a shame that the House insists on attaching this vital troop funding to a package of unrelated spending projects. While some of these programs may have merit, they shouldn't be tacked onto an emergency wartime spending bill. It was wrong when Republicans added non-emergency pork to such bills in the past, and it's wrong today when Democrats do it," Ryan said. "Even though I support a SeniorCare extension, I could not vote for this reckless abuse of the budget process. I can't criticize porking up emergency spending bills one day and vote for that very practice the next day. Congress needs to change its ways and vote on these programs on their own merits - not just attach them to must-pass emergency legislation. I'm glad that, if this becomes law, our state will have more options and more time to choose the path that best serves our seniors. Unfortunately, Congress chose the wrong way to reach this outcome."