Six of the Georgia Republican Members of Congress issued statements today after House Democrats attached a completely unrelated "Hate Crimes" bill to the annual defense authorization legislation. The annual defense bill was already voted on in the House and all the Georgia Members supported the bill before the hate crimes legislation was attached. Traditionally, the annual defense authorization is a bipartisan bill the passes the House by large margins, but this year, the Democratic Majority intentionally chose to politicize the bill with the addition of the social policy legislation.
Statements from the Georgia Representatives are as follows:
Rep. Jack Kingston (GA-01): "Speaker Pelosi has brought San Francisco politics to Iraq and Afghanistan tucked in the rucksacks of our soldiers."
Rep. Lynn Westmoreland (GA-03): "We should not use our soldiers and veterans as pawns to pass a far-left political agenda."
Rep. Tom Price (GA-06): "Today, Democrats have taken their partisan disgracefulness to a new level," said Chairman Price. "Our military deserves the resources provided in this legislation. Our troops deserve the benefits that are included in this bill. And our troops absolutely deserve a pay increase. But our troops also deserve better than to be treated as pack mules to carry the load for a despicable and unconstitutional bill that penalizes thought and places a premium on some classes of individuals over others. The path Democrats have chosen to jam this shameful bill into law can only be described as immoral. This travesty demonstrates that Democrat leaders view our military more as a political tool than as a group of brave and noble warriors who sacrifice dearly to keep us safe.
"No American should be more protected from violent crime than another. All violent crimes demonstrate hate and all should be fully prosecuted. Justice should be blind, but Democrats have rejected the credo of our Founders that all people are created equal. This legislation will eventually invite the prosecution of Americans for their thoughts and religious beliefs, basic provinces protected by the First Amendment. Today, all Americans should recognize the shameful manner in which Democrats handle the matters of our military and how little they care about the Constitution and equal justice. This is a sad day in our nation's proud history."
Rep. Nathan Deal (GA-09): "As a former military officer, I fully support our men and women overseas and at home. However, this is a deceitful political ploy to use our troops in order to force members of the House to support a Hate Crimes bill which they don't support."
Rep. Paul Broun (GA-10): "As a Marine and member of the Homeland Security Committee, the Defense Authorization bill is extremely important to me. In order to maintain a high level of military preparedness, Congress must give our troops the resources they need to succeed. By adding divisive, unrelated language to this critical bill, Congressional leaders are participating in the worst kind of political gamesmanship."
Rep. Phil Gingrey (GA-11): "I have supported the National Defense Authorization Act every year I have been in Congress. It may never be a perfect bill, but the focus of the legislation was always to provide our troops and their families with the best resources and support we possibly could. Unfortunately, this year, the Democratic Majority chose to use this bill as a vehicle to push liberal social policies that limit the very freedom of speech our troops fight to protect. Additionally, I am deeply disappointed that the bill upholds the Administration's request to end the F-22 program and significantly cuts missile defense funding, two decisions that I think will have a severely detrimental impact on our national security. Our troops deserve our fullest support and should not be the victim of divisive partisan politics."