Washington, DC—Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid made the following statement today after the U.S. Senate passed the Defense Appropriations conference report and a Continuing Resolution to fund government services through December 14:
“The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have stretched our forces dangerously thin and have left us ill-equipped for the next attack or crisis. Democrats are strengthening our military and providing for our troops where this Administration has failed to do so by passing a $459 billion Defense Appropriations bill. Modern armor has fortunately helped increase the chance our troops survive insurgent attacks, but too many are coming home with serious injuries and long roads to recovery. That is why in this bill we are providing $11.6 billion for Mine Resistant Ambush Protected Vehicles and $23.5 billion for military health care – nearly $1 billion more than the President’s request. Over the President’s objection, we are also giving our troops a well-deserved 3.5 percent pay raise.
“And a year after Congressional Republicans failed to complete 11 of 12 appropriations bills, Democrats are finishing their work for them and continuing to invest in America’s priorities. While it is shameful that the President and Senate Republicans have stood in the way of our efforts to pass essential funding bills, we are providing a Continuing Resolution to fund critical needs like wildfire management, FEMA disaster relief and Katrina recovery efforts, as well as veterans’ care. We hope that in the coming weeks, the President will drop his reckless veto threats and Senate Republicans will join with us to invest in America’s priorities.”