U.S. Senator George LeMieux (R-FL) today issued the following statement regarding his decision to continue debate on the Defense Authorization bill for fiscal year 2011. Senator LeMieux stood with those who would like to amend the bill to improve it and remove extraneous, controversial items that are not critical to the military and national security.
"One of the things that frustrates the American people most is when lawmakers are not allowed an opportunity to offer amendments to major legislation. This bill is supposed to authorize those programs and projects that help our young men and women fighting around the world to protect our safety and freedom. But instead of letting us work to improve the bill, the majority will not let senators from Florida, Georgia and most anywhere else offer an idea, a proposal or even a single amendment.
"Instead of letting the military complete their ongoing review of the implications of repealing "don't ask, don't tell', the majority wants to supersede the military's leaders and act. Instead of having a full debate on the DREAM act, the majority wants to circumvent the committee process, any potential improvements, and pass it into law. While I am sympathetic to the students impacted by current law, I cannot support consideration of the DREAM Act until we have taken substantial and effective measures to secure our borders. The timing of taking up the Dream Act just weeks before an election, and as part of the Defense Authorization Act, is transparently political and unfortunate to those students whose expectations have been raised. If the Democrat majority that controls Congress were truly serious about fixing our broken immigration system, I along with many Republicans would join that effort.
"This is not the way this Congress should act. This is not the way the process is supposed to work. It is unfair to the American people. It is unfair to the members of the military. What should happen is we should have an ability to bring any amendments forward that are germane to the Defense Authorization bill and let them rise and fall on their merits."