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McConnell: Congress Must Send Clean Troop Funding Bill to the President

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Location: Washington, DC


McConnell: Congress Must Send Clean Troop Funding Bill to the President

‘We have a responsibility to provide this funding to our men and women in uniform; we need to get a clean troop funding bill to the President'

U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell made the following remarks on the Senate floor Thursday regarding the urgent need to fund our troops. McConnell filed cloture on S. 2340, a $70 billion clean troop funding bill, in an effort to bring the bill to a vote:

"I understand that the majority may move to proceed to the supplemental bill passed by the House last night. That bill imposes at least two policy restrictions that will compel a veto directing the readiness standards of the Defense Department must follow before a unit may be deployed, and expanding the interrogation procedures established in the army field manual over to the intelligence community.

"The House bill will also compel the immediate withdrawal of forces regardless of what General Petraeus' orders may be. Petraeus has established a reasonable time for the transition of mission and draw down and, frankly, we ought to support him. The Marine expeditionary unit identified by General Petraeus in September for withdrawal has left Iraq and an army brigade is headed home over the next month."

"I now move to proceed to calendar number S. 2340, the troop funding bill, and I send a cloture motion to the desk."

"Secretary Gates stated clearly yesterday that the army and Marine Corps will run out of operating funds early next year. This funding shortfall will harm units preparing for deployment and those training for their basic missions. We really should not cut off funding for our troops in the field, particularly at a moment when the tactical success of the Petraeus plan is crystal clear.

"Attacks and casualties are down and political cooperation is occurring at the local level. We should not leave our forces in the field without the funding that they need to accomplish the mission for which they have been deployed. The Pelosi bill, if it was to get to the President's desk, of course, would be vetoed, as was the supplemental bill sent to the President earlier this year that contained a withdrawal date.

"So, because we have a responsibility to provide this funding to our men and women in uniform as they attempt to protect the American people; we need to get a clean troop funding bill to the President—a clean troop funding bill to the President.

"Now, let me just finally say that there's no particular reason to have all of the votes that are likely to be coming our way tomorrow. I've indicated repeatedly to the Majority Leader, and we have at the staff level, that we'd be more than happy on this side of the aisle to move both the Farm Bill cloture votes and whatever cloture vote or votes we end up having on the troop funding issue up to today.

"And I hope there's still a possibility of doing that. I know that members on both sides of the aisle, in anticipation of the two-week break, have travel plans and I'm all for staying here longer if it makes sense. But it seems to me that under this particular set of circumstances, it really doesn't make sense."


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