Washington, DC –Nevada Senator Harry Reid released the following statement today to call on Senator McCain and other Senate Republicans to drop threats to block the Defense Authorization bill:
“Any American so courageous and patriotic that he or she wants to serve our country in the military should be able to do so. Senator McCain and anyone else who thinks the DREAM Act is not directly related to our national security should talk to the brave young men and women who want to defend our country but are turned away. And he should also talk to our military leaders in the Defense Department who have said that America’s military readiness depends on recruiting as many well-qualified men and women as possible. The Defense Department’s strategic plan explicitly states that passage of the DREAM Act is critical to helping the military ‘shape and maintain a mission-ready All Volunteer Force.’ And many of our generals in the field believe that ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ harms troop morale and combat readiness.
“Senator McCain should know better than anyone that patriots who step up to serve our grateful nation should be offered a path to citizenship, and that anyone who volunteers to serve should be welcomed regardless of their sexual orientation. I hope that he will do the right thing and support this bill that not only funds critical support for our troops like weapons upgrades and pay raises, but also ensures that our military reflects our nation’s values.”