Washington, DC—Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid made the following statement today after the Senate passed the Department of Defense Authorization bill:
“The Defense Authorization bill we passed today makes critical investments to responsibly repair the Armed Forces where our Commander-in-Chief has so badly mismanaged them. As President Bush’s flawed Iraq strategy stretches our military to its breaking point, we are addressing troop-readiness problems and ensuring our troops and National Guard members have the equipment and training they need to do their jobs.
“Our bill provides funding for the Mine Resistant Ambush Protected Vehicles (MRAPs) that save our troops’ lives, reiterates the importance of political reconciliation remaining Iraqis’ primary goal, establishes a commission to study wartime contracting abuses, supports veterans’ small-business ventures and strengthens existing federal authority to prosecute hate crimes. It also gives our troops a well-deserved pay raise and ensures returning troops get the health care and retirement benefits they were promised when they enlisted.”