Diaz-Balart Votes for Defense Appropriations Bill that Supports Military, Strong National Security
WASHINGTON – Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart (FL-25) delivered the following statement in support of H.R. 1301, Department of Defense Appropriations Act for FY 2017. The legislation passed with a vote of 371-48. Watch the floor speech or read his full remarks, as prepared for delivery.
“Mr. Speaker, I rise in strong support of the FY17 Defense Appropriations bill. I want to start by commending the Chairman of the full Committee and former Chairman of this Subcommittee – Mr. Frelinghuysen – for this commitment to the men and women in uniform and for finalizing a bill that addresses our growing national security challenges. I also want to recognize the good work and leadership of the new subcommittee chairwoman – Ms. Granger. She is a longstanding champion of a strong national defense. Finally, I want to thank the Ranking Members, Ms. Lowey and Mr. Visclosky for their partnership in moving this bill forward
“Mr. Speaker, with this bill, Congress fulfills an essential constitutional obligation – to provide for a common defense. This bill does good things for the men and women who serve our nation in the military; it enhances our national security and starts rebuilding our military. This bill fully funds a 2.1% pay raise for the military, instead of the 1.6% requested by the prior Administration. We also target resources for the health care of our service members and their families. We provide important health programs and research into spinal cord, vision, and traumatic brain injuries so we can deliver the tools and best treatment for battlefield wounds.
“Throughout the year we’ve heard testimony from our service chiefs about the necessity to address our military's alarming readiness shortfalls. This bill addresses the readiness problems that are making it more and more difficult for our troops to accomplish their mission. We devote resources to prepare our troops for combat and peacetime missions, including flight time and training, to ensure we maintain our military superiority. Lastly, this bill provides the necessary and essential equipment, weapon systems, and platforms needed to maintain and sustain our military superiority in the air, sea, and ground.
“Mr. Speaker, I would just end with what I mentioned before: I believe the principal job of the federal government is to defend and protect our country. This Congress has the responsibility to raise, support, provide, and maintain the military forces of the United States. The Defense Appropriations bill before us does just that and it deserves the support of all of us.”