Pelosi Floor Speech Opposing So-Called ‘Security’ Minibus
Contact: Ashley Etienne/Caroline Behringer, 202-226-7616
Washington, D.C. – House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi delivered remarks today on the Floor of the House in opposition to Republicans’ so-called ‘Security’ Minibus appropriations package. Below are the Leader’s remarks:
Leader Pelosi. Thank you Mr. Speaker. I thank the gentlelady from New York [Congresswoman Nita Lowey], the distinguished Ranking Member of the Appropriations Committee, for yielding and more importantly for her great leadership to advance the values of our country in the allocation of resources, and I always admire the work of Mr. [Rodney] Frelinghuysen, the distinguished chairman as well. We may have a matter of disagreement here today, though.
Mr. Speaker, all of us, Members of Congress, all elected officials, people who serve in any office, take a solemn oath to support and defend the Constitution. That is an oath to protect the American people.
Democrats, indeed, all Americans, believe in a strong national defense. We believe in strong investments in our defense and in our brave men and women in uniform, in particular. But far from strengthening our security, the falsely inflated numbers in this spending bill will create uncertainty for our military and hollow out America’s communities at home.
We face serious threats in the world, we know that. Those threats demand serious consideration in Congress. We should be making serious decisions about our national security mission.
What is our mission? What are the resources that we need? We don't want to spend more than we need but we don't want to spend less. And we should not be posturing in a defense bill with false numbers and no real answers about the mission of that these dollars would fund.
We do not give certainty to our defense or competence to our troops when we legislate with phony numbers, when we refuse to make honest choices about our defense budget. Instead of giving certainty to our heroes in uniform, this bill would breach the sequester spending limit by more than $70 billion. Forcing a mandatory 13% cut to all defense accounts.
These phony numbers in this bill not only do violence to our defense budget, they starve the strength of America by ransacking our domestic investments. In order to be the strongest possible America, we must measure our strength not only in our military might but in the health, education, and wellbeing of the American people. And that's what the problem is.
We are stealing from the domestic budget with phony numbers to the defense budget which will be because of the sequester cut the defense account by 13% as we starve our domestic investment. Besides the direct danger this bill proposes to our military, it is laden with poison pills.
It would squander billions of taxpayer dollars on President Trump's immoral, ineffective and expensive border wall. The President said during the campaign, he said, ‘I promised a wall.’ No, you promised a wall that Mexico would pay for.
He said it would cost $4 billion to $6 billion. The fact is it could cost as much as $30 or $40 billion. And he wants a down payment for that wall in this bill. One poison pill.
It also eliminates ARPA-E, the advanced energy research vital to our energy independence, to our national security, to keep America, the innovation superpower of the 21st century. Democrats will continue to demand real leadership to strengthen our national defense.
Mr. Speaker, on this day, July 26, 1948, President Harry Truman signed the executive order desegregating the U.S. military. How great that was for America. How great it is, for our country to benefit from the service of so many people who had been serving all along, but now with dignity and respect, which was justified.
So how sad is it that on this same day the President of the United States, 69 years ago, recognized the value of respecting our men and women in uniform, that the Commander-in-Chief, the President of the United States, fired 15,000 courageous men and women in uniform in a vile, hateful tweet.
His actions regarding transgender [people] in the military were unworthy of their bravery and unworthy of the American people. Let us be thankful for the blessings of all our men and women in uniform and our veterans who have served us and our military families to whom we owe so much.
Their courage, their service and leadership, their sacrifice is what truly makes us the land of the free and the home of the brave. And it insists that we be serious and real and evidence-based as we make decisions about how we invest in the security of our country.
I urge a no vote and yield back the balance of my time.
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