Washington, DC—Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid released the following statement today after Senate Republicans voted overwhelmingly against the conference report for the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2010. Senate Democrats were able to defeat Republican attempts to block this important legislation:
“I am pleased that today we were able to move the conference report for the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2010 a step closer to passage this afternoon. But I’m disappointed that Senate Republicans have decided that defeating hate crimes legislation takes precedent over supporting our troops.
“It is outrageous and unacceptable that Senate Republicans would vote against pay raises for our troops, battlefield equipment upgrades and increased funding for veterans’ health care as we continue to fight two wars. And they decided to do this all for the sake of stopping passage of landmark legislation that will bring justice to those who commit violent crimes based on bigotry and prejudice. What message does that send to our country and, more importantly, to our troops?”