FOLLOWING MONEY IN 2016 PRESIDENTIAL POLITICS

Monday, June 8, 2015

WATCH, READ: McCain Senate Floor Monologue Today On Obama, World

Arizona Senator John McCain (R-AZ) took to an empty Senate chamber today to discuss current events, especially President Obama and his lack of a complete strategy to deal with ISIS.

Here is the complete video, along with a transcript (from C-Span closed captioning, read at your own risk).


Transcript of remarks is below the jump.


MADAM PRESIDENT, I NOTE WITH SOME
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MR. McCAIN
INTEREST OVER THE
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WEEKEND RUSSIA WIELDS AID IN IDEOLOGY AGAINST WEST TO
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MR. McCAIN
FIGHT SANCTIONS ON THE FRONT PAGE OF THE "NEW YORK TIMES". WARRING UKRAINE THAT HAS PITTED RUSSIA AGAINST THE WEST IS BEING RAISED -- WAGED NOT JUST WITH TANKS, ARTILLERY AND TROOPS. INCREASINGLY MOSCOW HAS DIFFERENT KINDS OF WEAPONS ACCORDING TO AMERICAN-EUROPEAN OFFICIALS: MONEY, IDEOLOGY AND DISINFORMATION. YESTERDAY AND TODAY IN THE "WALL STREET JOURNAL," IRAQIS CALL FOR A DEEPER OVERHAUL OF ARMY. MISTRUST OF MILITARY LEADERSHIP AMONG TROOPS IS WIDESPREAD AND CRISIS OF CONFIDENCE. RIGHT BELOW THAT, AIRSTRIKES KILL DOZENS USE FIGHTING IN YEMEN INTENSIFIES. AND REPORTING OF A WORLD IN TURMOIL. AND THE FIRE CONTINUES. TO TOP IT ALL OFF, TODAY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES SPEAKING TO REPORTERS AT THE G-7 SUMMIT IN GERMANY, PRESIDENT OBAMA SAID -- AND I QUOTE -- "WE DON'T YET HAVE A COMPLETE STRATEGY ABOUT HOW TO COMBAT ISIS." I WOULD REMIND MY COLLEAGUES THAT ON AUGUST 28, 2014, NEARLY A YEAR AGO, PRESIDENT OBAMA STATED -- QUOTE -- "WE DON'T HAVE A STRATEGY YET TO FIGHT ISIS IN IRAQ AND SYRIA." MY FRIENDS, NEARLY A YEAR AFTER THE PRESIDENT SAID WE DON'T HAVE A STRATEGY YET TO FIGHT ISIS IN IRAQ AND SYRIA, HE SAID AGAIN, WE DON'T YET HAVE A COMPLETE STRATEGY ABOUT HOW TO COMBAT ISIS. I'D LIKE TO SEE THE INCOMPLETE STRATEGY. I'D LIKE TO SEE SOMETHING. I'D LIKE TO SEE -- I WOULD NOT LIKE TO SEE CONTINUED, CONTINUED OF THE 75% COMBAT MISSIONS FLOWN IN SYRIA RETURN TO BASE WITHOUT FIRING A WEAPON, BECAUSE WE DON'T HAVE FORWARD AIR CONTROLLERS ON THE GROUND. WHEN IS THIS ADMINISTRATION GOING TO FIGURE OUT THAT IF YOU WANT TO DESTROY THE ENEMY, YOU'VE GOT TO BE ABLE TO IDENTIFY THE ENEMY AND THAT REQUIRES AIR CONTROLLERS ON THE GROUND, AND THAT MEANS U.S. TROOPS. I KNOW THAT WHENEVER I AND SOME OTHERS SAY THAT WE NEED ADDITIONAL U.S. TROOPS, PEOPLE RECOIL. OH NO, HERE WE GO AGAIN. WELL, WHAT'S GOING ON NOW -- WHAT'S GOING ON NOW IS ISIS IS SUCCEEDING. BASHAR AL-ASSAD IS HANGING ON. IRAN IS ON THE MOVE. THEY NOW DOMINATE FOUR COUNTRIES: SYRIA, IRAQ, LEBANON, YEMEN. AND THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES SAYS WE DON'T YET HAVE A COMPLETE STRATEGY. WELL, THE PENTAGON'S A PRETTY BIG PLACE. THERE ARE HUNDREDS OF PEOPLE THAT WORK FOR THE NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISOR, AND SOMEHOW NEARLY A YEAR LATER WE DON'T YET HAVE A STRATEGY WHILE ISIS GOES FROM HOUSE TO HOUSE IN RAMADI WITH LISTS OF NAMES AND THEY EXECUTE PEOPLE AND THEY KILL THREE-YEAR-OLD CHILDREN AND THEY BURN THEIR BODIES IN THE STREETS , AND THE ATROCITIES IN SYRIA CONTINUE AS BASHAR AL-ASSAD BARREL BOMBS INNOCENT MEN, WOMEN AND CHILDREN, BARREL BOMBS, BY THE WAY, SUPPLIED BY IRAN AND RUSSIA. AND WE DON'T YET HAVE A -- QUOTE -- "COMPLETE STRATEGY." WELL, MR. PRESIDENT, I HAVE NEVER SEEN THE WORLD IN MORE CRISIS, NOR HAS HENRY KISSINGER, NOR HAVE MOST OTHER LONG-TERM OBSERVERS OF OUR NATION AND THE WORLD. I WOULD URGE MY COLLEAGUES TO TAKE A LOOK AT A MAP OF THE MIDDLE EAST ON JANUARY OF 2009, WHEN PRESIDENT OBAMA WAS SWORN IN AS PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, AND LOOK AT THAT MAP, THAT SAME MAP TODAY, AND COLOR IN WHERE THERE IS ISIS, WHERE THERE IS IRANIAN DOMINATION, WHERE THERE IS CONFLICT AND WHERE THERE IS A COMPLETE LACK, EXCEPT IN THE STATE OF ISRAEL, OF DEMOCRATIZATION OR THE KINDS OF FREEDOMS THAT THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA STANDS FOR. SO, ALL I CAN SAY IS ONE CAN WONDER -- ONE HAS TO WONDER WHETHER THIS PRESIDENT JUST WANTS TO WAIT OUT THE NEXT YEAR AND A HALF AND BASICALLY DO NOTHING TO STOP THIS GENOCIDE, BLOODLETTING, HORRIBLE THINGS THAT ARE HAPPENING THROUGHOUT THE MIDDLE EAST, WHO, IN THE VIEW OF THE DIRECTOR OF THE FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION AND THE DIRECTOR OF THE C.I.A. SAY, AS FAR AS ISIS IS CONCERNED, POSE A THREAT TO THE SECURITY OF THE UNITED STATES. WHY DO THEY SAY THAT? OBVIOUSLY BECAUSE IT THESE THOUSANDS OF YOUNG MEN WHO HAVE GONE TO EERNLG AND IRAQ AND -- GONE TO SYRIA AND IRAQ AND BEING RADICALIZED AND TRAINED ARE GOING TO GO BACK TO WHERE THEY CAME FROM. WHEN BAGHDAD DIDI LEFT CAMP BUQA, AND THE DAY HE LEFT, HE SAID WE'LL SEE YOU IN NEW YORK, MR. BAGHDADI IS NOT KNOWN FOR HIS SENSE OF HUMOR. SO, WHAT WE ARE TRYING TO DO IN THIS LEGISLATION THAT IS BEFORE THE SENATE IS TO PROVIDE THE MEANS, THE TRAINING, THE EQUIPMENT, THE CARE FOR THE MEN AND WOMEN, THE MUCH-NEEDED REFORMS THAT I HAVE BEEN OVER AND WILL CONTINUE TO GO OVER, WHETHER IT BE IN RETIREMENT, WHETHER IT BE IN ACQUISITION, WHETHER IT BE IN A NUMBER OF OTHER AREAS OF THE DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE AND THE WAY WE DEFEND THIS NATION THAT ARE, IN MY VIEW, LONG, LONG OVERDUE. AND NOW WE SEE THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES THREATENING TO VETO TO LEGISLATION IF IT GETS THROUGH THE HOUSE AND THE SENATE, OVER THE ISSUE OF O.C.O. THAT AS MY COLLEAGUES KNOW IS OVERSEAS CONTINGENCY OPERATIONS WHICH BEGAN WITH THE CONFLICTS IN IRAQ -- AFGHANISTAN AND IRAQ, AS A MEANS OF PROVIDING ADDITIONAL FUNDS TO PAY FOR AND FUND THE OPERATIONS IN THOSE COUNTRIES AS THE NAME IMPLIES: OVERSEAS CONTINGENCY OPERATIONS. I HAVE OPPOSED SEQUESTRATION. I THINK IT'S A TERRIBLE THING TO INFLICT ON THE MEN AND WOMEN WHO ARE SERVING IN THE MILITARY, MUCH LESS OUR NATIONAL SECURITY. I AGREE WITH OUR UNIFORMED LEADERS, EVERY ONE OF WHOM HAS TESTIFIED BEFORE THE SENATE ARMED SERVICES COMMITTEE THAT IF WE CONTINUE SEQUESTRATION, IT PUTS THE LIVES OF THE MEN AND WOMEN WHO ARE SERVING IN THE MILITARY AT GREATER RISK. I DON'T KNOW OF A GREATER OBLIGATION THAT WE HAVE THAN TO PREVENT THE LIVES OF THE YOUNG MEN AND WOMEN WHO HAVE VOLUNTEERED TO SERVE THIS COUNTRY AT GREATER RISK. BUT THAT'S BEEN LOST ON MY COLLEAGUES ON BOTH SIDES OF THE AISLE. SO NOW WE HAVE THE O.C.O. BUT IT FUNDS THE DEFENSE OF THIS COUNTRY AT THE LEVELS THAT THE PRESIDENT REQUESTED, AND I DON'T LIKE IT. I DON'T LIKE IT BECAUSE IT ONLY CAN GIVE THEM ONE YEAR OF PLANNING. WHAT THE MILITARY REALLY NEEDS IS TO BE ABLE TO PLAN FOR AT LEAST FIVE YEARS AHEAD OF TIME. WE CAN'T BUILD NEW WEAPONS AND NEW SHIPS AND NEW AIRPLANES ON A YEAR-TO-YEAR BASIS. BUT IT IS BETTER THAN THE SEQUESTRATION WHICH, AS I SAID, INCREASES THE THREAT TO THIS NATION'S SECURITY. SO LAST WEEK THE WHITE HOUSE ISSUED A STATEMENT OF ADMINISTRATION POLICY THREATENING TO VETO THIS NATIONAL SECURITY LEGISLATION. THE THREAT HARDLY COMES A SURPRISE. AFTER ALL, THE PRESIDENT HAS THREATENED TO VETO FOR SOME REASON OR ANOTHER EVERY DEFENSE AUTHORIZATION BILL SINCE 2011. THE WHITE HOUSE'S COMPILATION OF COMPLAINTS IS LONG BUT SHORT ON SUBSTANCE. IT MAKES CLEAR THAT THE TRUE BASIS OF ADMINISTRATION'S VETO THREAT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH DEFENSE. IN OBJECTING TO THE USE OF $38 BILLION IN OVERSEAS CONTINGENCY OPERATION FUNDS OR O.C.O. TO MEET THE PRESIDENT'S REQUEST OF $612 BILLION, THE PRESIDENT WILL NOT FIX DEFENSE WITHOUT FIXING NON-DEFENSE SPENDING. IT IS INCOMPREHENSIBLE THAT AS AMERICA CONFRONTS THE MOST DIVERSE OF CRISES AROUND THE WORLD SINCE THE END OF WORLD WAR 2, THAT THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES WHO HAS NOT YET BEEN ABLE TO COME UP WITH A -- QUOTE -- "COMPLETE STRATEGY FOR THE CHALLENGES THAT WE MAKE" THAT A PRESIDENT WOULD VETO FUNDING FOR OUR MILITARY TO PROVE A POLITICAL POINT. THE THREATS WE CONFRONT TODAY ARE FAR MORE SERIOUS THAN THEY WERE A YEAR AGO AND SIGNIFICANTLY MORE SO WHEN THE CONGRESS PASSED THE BUDGET CONTROL ACT IN 2011. THAT LEGISLATION ARBITRARILY CAPPED DEFENSE SPENDING AND ESTABLISHED THE MINDLESS MECHANISM OF SEQUESTRATION WHICH WAS TRIGGERED IN 2013. AS A RESULT WITH WORLDWIDE THREATS RISING, WE AS A NATION ARE ON A COURSE TO CUT NEARLY $1 TRILLION OF DEFENSE SPENDING OVER TEN YEARS. EVERY SINGLE MILITARY AND NATIONAL SECURITY LEADER WHO HAS TESTIFIED BEFORE THE ARMED SERVICES COMMITTEE THIS YEAR HAS DENOUNCED SEQUESTRATION AND URGED ITS REPEAL AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. THIS LEGISLATION DOESN'T END SEQUESTRATION. UNFORTUNATELY -- BELIEVE ME, OUR COMMITTEE WOULD HAVE DONE SO IF THE NDAA WERE CAPABLE OF IT BUT IT IS NOT. THE NDAA IS A POLICY BILL. THIS LEGISLATION IS A POLICY BILL. IT IS THE APPROPRIATORS THAT DEAL WITH THE MONEY. IT ONLY DEALS WITH DEFENSE ISSUES, AND IT DOESN'T SPEND A DOLLAR. IT PROVIDES THE DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE AND THE MEN AND WOMEN IN UNIFORM WITH THE AUTHORITIES AND SUPPORT THEY NEED TO DEFEND THE NATION. IT FULLY SUPPORTS THE PRESIDENT OBAMA'S BUDGET REQUEST OF $612 BILLION FOR NATIONAL DEFENSE, WHICH IS $38 BILLION ABOVE THE SPENDING CAPS ESTABLISHED BY THE BUDGET CONTROL ACT. LET ME REPEAT THAT. THE LEGISLATION GIVES THE PRESIDENT EVERY DOLLAR OF BUDGET AUTHORITY HE REQUESTED. THE DIFFERENCE IS OUR -- THIS LEGISLATION FOLLOWS THE SENATE BUDGET RESOLUTION. THE SENATE BUDGET RESOLUTION WHICH WAS VOTED ON TIME AFTER TIME, ALL NIGHT LONG AND WAS AGREED TO BY BOTH HOUSES OF CONGRESS. IT IS THE SENATE BUDGET RESOLUTION. NOW, THIS IS NOT MY PREFERRED OPTION, AS I SAID. THAT'S WHY THE COMMITTEE INCLUDED A SPECIAL TRANSFER AUTHORITY IN THIS LEGISLATION THAT ALLOWS THE DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE TO TRANSFER THE ADDITIONAL $38 BILLION FROM O.C.O. TO THE BASE BUDGET IN THE EVENT THAT LEGISLATION IS ENACTED THAT INCREASES THE STATUTORY LIMITS ON DISCRETIONARY DEFENSE AND NONDEFENSE SPENDING IN PROPORTIONATELY EQUAL AMOUNTS. THIS WAS A PRODUCT OF A BIPARTISAN COMPROMISE, AND IT WAS THE MOST WE COULD DO IN THE DEFENSE AUTHORIZATION BILL TO RECOGNIZE THE NEED FOR A BROADER FISCAL AGREEMENT WITHOUT DENYING FUNDING FOR OUR MILITARY RIGHT NOW. HERE ON THE FLOOR, WE'VE HEARD A NUMBER OF MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT O.C.O. FUNDING, MANY OF WHICH HAVE BEEN FED BY THIS ADMINISTRATION'S RHETORIC. WHILE O.C.O. IS NOT THE IDEAL WAY TO FUND OUR NATIONAL DEFENSE, TECHNICAL OR BUDGETARY CONSEQUENCES TO USING O.C.O. FUNDING HAVE BEEN GREATLY EXAGGERATED. O.C.O. IS AUTHORIZED AND APPROPRIATED ON AN ANNUAL BASIS, JUST LIKE THE BASE FUNDING. O.C.O. FUNDING IS ALLOCATED TO THE SAME D.O.D. ACCOUNTS AS BASE FUNDING. IN FACT, THE DEFENSE BILL PURPOSEFULLY PLACED THE ADDITIONAL $38 BILLION OF O.C.O. FUNDING IN THE SAME AMOUNTS AND ACTIVITIES FOR WHICH THE PRESIDENT HIMSELF REQUESTED THE MONEY. THESE ACTIVITIES HAVE HISTORICALLY HAD A LARGE SHARE OF O.C.O. FUNDING AND THE ACCOUNT HAS BEEN DESIGNATED BY THE PRESIDENT AS O.C.O.-ELIGIBLE IN THE PAST AND THERE ARE NO LAWS THAT MAKE O.C.O. FUNDING EXPIRE ANY DIFFERENTLY THAN BASE FUNDING. THE WHITE HOUSE THREAT TO VETO THIS LEGISLATION AND THE DESIRE FOR INCREASES IN NONDEFENSE SPENDING IS MISGUIDED AND IRRESPONSIBLE. WITH GLOBAL THREATS RISING, IT SIMPLY MAKES NO SENSE TO OPPOSE A DEFENSE POLICY BILL. LEGISLATION THAT SPENDS NO MONEY BUT IS FULL OF VITAL AUTHORITIES THAT OUR TROOPS NEED FOR A REASON THAT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH NATIONAL DEFENSE SPENDING. THE NDAA SHOULD NOT BE TREATED AS A HOSTAGE IN BUDGET NEGOTIATION. THE POLITICAL REALITY IS THAT THE BUDGET CONTROL ACT WHICH THE PRESIDENT SIGNED REMAINS THE LAW OF THE LAND, SO FACED WITH A CHOICE BETWEEN O.C.O. MONEY AND NO MONEY, I CHOOSE O.C.O. AND MULTIPLE SENIOR MILITARY LEADERS TESTIFIED BEFORE THE ARMED SERVICES COMMITTEE THIS YEAR THAT THEY WOULD MAKE THE SAME CHOICE FOR ONE SIMPLE REASON. THIS IS $38 BILLION OF REAL MONEY THAT OUR MILITARY DESPERATELY NEEDS, AND WITHOUT WHICH OUR TOP MILITARY LEADERS HAVE SAID THEY CANNOT SUCCEED. THE BOTTOM LINE IS THIS -- THE NDAA AUTHORIZES $612 BILLION FOR NATIONAL DEFENSE. THIS IS THE AMOUNT REQUESTED BY THE PRESIDENT AND JUSTIFIED BY HIS OWN NATIONAL SECURITY STRATEGY. IF THE PRESIDENT AND SOME OF MY COLLEAGUES OPPOSE THE DEFENSE BILL DUE TO CONCERNS OVER NONDEFENSE SPENDING, I SUSPECT THEY WILL HAVE A VERY DIFFICULT TIME EXPLAINING AND JUSTIFYING THAT CHOICE TO AMERICANS WHO INCREASINGLY CITE NATIONAL SECURITY AS A TOP CONCERN. THE STATEMENT OF ADMINISTRATION POLICY RAISES SPECIOUS CONCERNS WITH A SWEEPING DEFENSE ACQUISITION REFORMS IN THE NDAA. FOR EXAMPLE, THE WHITE HOUSE ASSERTED THAT TRANSFERRING SOME ACQUISITION AUTHORITY BACK TO THE SERVICES IS SOMEHOW INCONSIST THE PRESIDENT WITH THE SECRETARY OF DEFENSE'S EXERCISE OF AUTHORITY, DIRECTION AND CONTROL OVER ALL OF THE DEPARTMENT DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE'S PROGRAMS AND ACTIVITIES. I COULD NOT AGREE MORE WITH THAT ASSERTION. WHAT THIS LEGISLATION DOES IS MERELY SWITCH WHO DOES WHAT IN CERTAIN CIRCUMSTANCES FROM DIFFERENT PEOPLE WHO ALL DIRECTLY REPORT AND SERVE UNDER THE AUTHORITY, DIRECTION AND CONTROL OF THE SECRETARY OF DEFENSE. IN THIS LEGISLATION, FOR A LIMITED NUMBER OF PROGRAMS TO START WITH, THE SECRETARY OF DEFENSE WOULD LOOK TO THE SERVICE SECRETARIES DIRECTLY FOR MANAGEMENT OF THESE ACQUISITION PROGRAMS RATHER THAN LOOKING TO THE UNDER SECRETARY OF DEFENSE FOR ACQUISITION, TECHNOLOGY AND LOGISTICS OR AT&L. THIS IS NOT USURPATION OF THE SECRETARY OF DEFENSE'S POWER. IT'S CALLED STREAMLINING OF AUTHORITIES AND REDUCING LAYERS OF UNNECESSARY BUREAUCRACY. THERE'S A SECTION IN THE LEGISLATION THAT WOULD ALLOW THE SECRETARY OF DEFENSE TO CONTINUE TO RELY ON MORE LAYERS OF MANAGEMENT IF HE CHOOSES BUT ONLY IF HE CERTIFIES TO CONGRESS THAT THIS MAKES SENSE. THERE SIMPLY IS NOT ANY UNDERMINING OF THE SECRETARY OF DEFENSE'S AUTHORITY IN HERE. ANOTHER CONCERN RAISED HAS BEEN THAT THE TRANSFER OF MILESTONE DECISION AUTHORITY TO THE SERVICES WOULD REDUCE THE SECRETARY OF DEFENSE'S ABILITY THROUGH AT&L TO GUARD AGAINST UNWARRANTED OPTIMISM AND PROGRAM PLANNING AND BUDGET FORMULATION. UNWARRANTED OPTIMISM IS INDEED A PLAGUE ON ACQUISITION AND THERE IS NOT A MONOPOLY OF THAT IN THE SERVICES. NOTHING IN THIS BILL OVERRIDES THE REQUIREMENT TO USE BETTER COST ESTIMATES FROM THE OFFICE OF COST ASSESSMENT AND PROGRAM, EVALUATION. IN FACT, NEW INCENTIVES AND REAL PENALTIES IMPOSED ON THE SERVICES IN THIS LEGISLATION ARE DESIGNED TO PUT SOME OF THIS OPTIMISM IN CHECK. SOME IN THE WHITE HOUSE AND THE DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE WANT TO PERPETUATE THE ABSURD FICTION THAT THE CURRENT SYSTEM IS WORKING, EVEN AFTER A WAVE OF 25 PROGRAM CANCELLATIONS BY FORMER SECRETARY GATES, ALL OF THE PROGRAMS THAT ARE LEFT UNDER AT&L MANAGEMENT HAVE OVER $200 BILLION IN COST OVERRUNS. I WANT TO REPEAT THAT. UNDER THE SUPERVISION OF THE UNDER SECRETARY OF DEFENSE FOR ACQUISITION, TECHNOLOGY AND LOGISTICS, THERE ARE PROGRAMS THAT HAVE OVER $200 BILLION IN COST OVERRUNS. AT&L IS TRYING TO HAVE IT BOTH WAYS, CLAIMING CREDIT FOR THE IMPROVEMENTS IN THE ACQUISITION SYSTEM WHILE BLAMING THE SERVICES FOR ITS LONG LIST OF FAILURES. THIS IS EXACTLY THE PROGRAM THIS LEGISLATION IS TRYING TO ADDRESS. BLURRED LINES OF ACCOUNTABILITY INSIDE THE DEFENSE ACQUISITION SYSTEM THAT ALLOW ITS LEADERS TO EVADE RESPONSIBILITY FOR RESULTS. THE REALITY IS THAT IN THE MODERN WORLD, THE AT&L MANAGEMENT PROCESS TAKES TOO LONG AND COSTS TOO MUCH. FOR EXAMPLE, AN ARMY STUDY LOOKED AT THE TIME IT WOULD TAKE TO GO THROUGH ALL OF THE AT&L REVIEWS AND BUY NOTHING, REPEAT GO THROUGH ALL THOSE REVIEWS AND BUY NOTHING. WHAT WAS THE ANSWER? TEN YEARS. TEN YEARS TO BUY NOTHING. THE GOVERNMENT ACCOUNTABILITY OFFICE LOOKED AT THE MUCH-VAUNTED MILESTONE REVIEWS THAT THE OFFICE OF SECRETARY OF DEFENSE IS TOUTING AS A SUCCESS. JUST ONE REVIEW TAKES ON AVERAGE TWO YEARS. A SIMILAR REVIEW AT THE MISSILE DEFENSE AGENCY TAKES ABOUT THREE MONTHS. OUR ADVERSARIES ARE NOT SHUFFLING PAPER. THEY ARE BUILDING WEAPONS SYSTEMS. IT'S TIME FOR US TO DO THE SAME. I FIND IT DISAPPOINTING OR MAYBE JUST OUTRIGHT LAUGHABLE THE STATEMENT OF ADMINISTRATION POLICY EXPRESSED CONCERN ABOUT THE ARMED SERVICES COMMITTEE DECISION TO DOWNSIZE AND STREAMLINE THE BUREAUCRATIC OVERHEAD OF THE PENTAGON WHILE AT THE SAME TIME COMPLAINING THAT WE ARE NOT LETTING THEM DOWNSIZE THE FIGHTING FORCES. LET ME REPEAT -- THE ADMINISTRATION WANTS TO KEEP MORE PENTAGON BUREAUCRATS WHILE DRAWING DOWN OUR FORCES AND CUTTING MILITARY EQUIPMENT LIKE FIGHTER AIRCRAFT. IS THERE ANY MEMBER OF THIS CHAMBER THAT BELIEVES WE SHOULD INCREASE THE ARMY STAFF BY 60% OVER A DECADE AND THEN TURN AROUND AND SLASH OUR ARMY BRIGADE COMBAT TEAMS FROM 45 TO 32? OF COURSE NOT. THE ADMINISTRATION CITES REDUCTIONS ALREADY TAKING PLACE IN THE HEADQUARTERS ACTIVITIES BUT IGNORES THE FACT THAT THE AIR FORCE IS TRYING TO ACHIEVE THESE REDUCTIONS BY PLAYING A SHELL GAME. CREATING TWO NEW ORGANIZATIONS AND SHIFTING PEOPLE AROUND. MOVING THE DECK CHAIRS ON THE TITANIC DIDN'T KEEP THE SHIP FROM SINKING AND PLAYING A GAME OF HIDE THE HEADQUARTERS STAFF WILL NOT KEEP OUR HEADQUARTERS FROM SINKING UNDER THE WEIGHT OF BUREAUCRATIC EMPIRES. AS THE WHITE HOUSE ASKED THE SENATE TO PRESERVE BLOATED STAFFS, THE STATEMENT OF ADMINISTRATION POLICY COMMENCED THE COMMITTEE'S EFFORT TO ADDRESS STRIKE FIGHTER CAPACITY SHORTFALLS ACROSS THE SERVICES. AS DELIVERIES OF THE F-35 HAVE CONTINUED TO FALL SHORT OF PROJECTIONS, THE AIR FORCE HAS CONTINUED TO DRAIN COMBAT POWER. SENIOR AIR FORCE OFFICIALS HAVE REPEATEDLY TESTIFIED TO THE ALARMINGLY -- ALARMING REALITY THAT THEIR SERVICE IS THE SMALLEST IN ITS HISTORY, WITH READINESS AT VERY LOW LEVELS, ALL WHIER OUR AIRMEN PERFORM ONGOING COMBAT OPERATIONS IN THE MIDDLE EAST, THEATER SUPPORT PACKAGES IN EASTERN EUROPE, PRESENCE AND REASSURANCE TO OUR ALLIES IN THE ASIA PACIFIC AND MAINTAINING A STRONG STRATEGIC NUCLEAR DETERRENCE OF POSTURE. THE MISALLOCATION OF AIR POWER RESOURCES OVER THE PAST SIX YEARS, COUPLED WITH THE MISMANAGEMENT OF VERY EXPENSIVE AIRCRAFT WEAPONS SYSTEMS PROCUREMENT PROGRAMS, PLACES AMERICA'S NATIONAL SECURITY INTERESTS IN JEOPARDY AND ENDANGERS THE LIVES OF OUR MEN AND WOMEN IN UNIFORM. OUR MILITARY COMMANDERS KNOW THIS IS TRUE. THAT'S WHY, FOR EXAMPLE, THE CHIEF OF NAVAL OPERATIONS AND THE COMMANDANT OF THE MARINE CORPS INCLUDED IN THEIR FUNDED PRIORITIES -- UNFUNDED PRIORITIES LISTS REQUESTS FOR F-18 SUPER HORNETS FOR THE NAVY AND SIX F-85 JOINT STRIKE FIGHTERS FOR THE MARINE CORPS. THE NDAA FUNDS THIS REQUEST BECAUSE SENIOR NAVY AND MARINE CORPS LEADERS HAVE REPEATEDLY TESTIFIED TO SIGNIFICANT STRIKE FIGHTER SHORTFALLS IN THE MARITIME SERVICES DUE TO AN UNANTICIPATED INCREASED COMBAT OPERATIONS IN THE MIDDLE EAST, AGING AND OBSOLETE FIGHTER AIRCRAFT AND SIGNIFICANT DELAYS IN THE F-35 JOINT STRIKE FIGHTER DELIVERY SCHEDULE. BIZARRELY, THE WHITE HOUSE HAS APPARENTLY DISREGARDED THAT SYSTEM AND INSTEAD LABELS THESE REQUESTS FOR MORE COMBAT POWER FOR OUR MILITARY COMMANDERS -- QUOTE -- UNNECESSARILY. THE STATEMENT OF ADMINISTRATIVE ADMINISTRATIVE -- ADMINISTRATION POLICY OPPOSES THE STRONG OVERSIGHT MEASURES PUT IN PLACE BY THE NDAA ON THE FORD CLASS AIRCRAFT CARRIER PROGRAM. THE ADMINISTRATION OBJECTS TO A PROVISION IN THIS LEGISLATION THAT REDUCES THE COST CAP FOR THE U.S.S. JOHN F. KENNEDY UP TO $11.398 BILLION. BUT IN THE BUDGET REQUEST, THE NAVY ESTIMATED THE COST OF THIS SHIP AT $11.348 BILLION. IN OTHER WORDS, THE BILL STILL PROVIDES A BUFFER OF $50 MILLION. THE PROVISION SIMPLY LOX IN THE SAVINGS THE DEPARTMENT HAS ADVERTISED WHICH COMES AFTER MORE THAN $2 BILLION IN COST GROWTH. $2 BILLION IN COST GROWTH OF ONE AIRCRAFT CARRIER. UNLESS THE BUDGET REQUEST IS MISLEADING OR INACCURATE, THIS PROVISION SHOULD NOT RESULT IN REDUCED CAPABILITY OR BREACH OF THE COST CAP AS THE ADMINISTRATION CLAIMS. IT'S ALSO UNFORTUNATE THE ADMINISTRATION DOESN'T RECOGNIZE THE IMPORTANCE OF CONDUCTING FULL SHIP SHOCK TRIALS ON THE U.S.S. GERALD R. FORD KNOWN AS C.V. AND 78. AT ABUNDANCE OF NEW TECHNOLOGY INCLUDING CATAPULT, RELIANCE ON ELECTRICITY RATHER THAN STEAM TO POWER KEY SYSTEMS, THERE CONTINUES TO BE A GREAT DEAL OF RISK IN THIS PROGRAM. TESTING CVN-78 WILL NOT ONLY IMPROVE THE DESIGN OF FUTURE CARRIERS BUT ALSO REDUCE THE COSTS ASSOCIATED WITH RETROFITTING THE ENGINEERING CHANGES. ABSENT THIS PROVISION, THE NAVY WILL DELAY BY UP TO SEVEN YEARS FULL SHIP SHOCK TRIALS AND SHIFT THIS TEST FROM THE LEADERSHIP IN THE CLASS TO THE SECOND SHIP. THAT POSES THE RISK OF CVN-78 WILL DEPLOY AND POTENTIALLY FIGHT WITHOUT THIS TESTING, PUTTING THE LIVES OF OUR SAILORS AT RISK. STATEMENT OF ADMINISTRATION POLICY ALSO RAISED OBJECTIONS TO A NUMBER OF PROVISIONS RELATED TO MILITARY PERSONNEL. FOR INSTANCE, THE ADMINISTRATION BEMOANS THE FACT THAT THE COMMITTEE DID NOT ADOPT ITS PLAN TO RAISE EXISTING TRICARE FEES AND IMPLEMENT NEW FEES FOR MEDICARE-ELIGIBLE RETIREES AND THEIR FAMILIES AND MEMBERS. THE SO-CALLED CONSOLIDATED HEALTH PLAN WOULD NOT HAVE CREATED A MODERN VALUE-BASED HEALTH CARE SYSTEM AND THE ADMINISTRATION MADE NO ATTEMPT AT ALL TO IMPROVE ACCESS TO CARE, QUALITY OF CARE OR BENEFICIARYIARIES WITH SATISFACTION. THE NDAA ON THE OTHER HAND ADDRESSES THOSE ISSUES AND MORE WITHOUT RAISING ENROLLMENT FEES OR CREATING NEW FEES. THE WHITE HOUSE EXPRESSED CONCERN ABOUT PROVISIONS IN THE NDAA THAT CALL FOR A PLAN TO PRIVATIZE COMMISSARIES AND A TWO-YEAR PILOT PROGRAM AT NO FEWER THAN FIVE COMMISSARIES IN THE LARGEST MARKETS OF THE COMMISSARY SYSTEM TO ASSESS THE FEASIBILITY AND ADVISABILITY OF THE PLAN. BUT THE RATIONALE IS CONFUSING. THE ADMINISTRATION CLAIMS THAT -- QUOTE -- THERE IS AN INDEPENDENT STUDY UNDER WAY TO DETERMINE WHETHER PRIVATIZATION IS A FEASIBLE OPTION AND WE SHOULD WAIT FOR THOSE RESULTS PRIOR TO MAKING ANY POLICY CHANGES. THE BILL DID REQUIRE COMPREHENSIVE REVIEW BY AN INDEPENDENT ORGANIZATION OF THE MANAGEMENT FOOD AND PRICING OPTIONS OF THE COMMISSARY SYSTEM, BUT IN THAT SECTION, THERE WAS NO REQUIREMENT TO STUDY THE FEASIBILITY OF PRIVATIZATION OF THE COMMISSARY SYSTEM. IT'S ALSO CURIOUS THAT THE ADMINISTRATION WARNS AGAINST IMPLEMENTING A PILOT PROGRAM ON PRIVATIZATION BEFORE THE RESULTS OF AN INDEPENDENT STUDY WHILE AT THE SAME TIME ENCOURAGING THE CONGRESS TO ADOPT THEIR OWN PROPOSED PILOT PROGRAM. THE WHITE HOUSE POLICY STATEMENT REFLECTS THE PRESIDENT'S FECKLESS POLICY TOWARDS RUSSIA. DESPITE THE ADVICE OF NEARLY EVERY STATESMAN AND POLICY EXPERT THAT APPEARED BEFORE THE ARMED SERVICES COMMITTEE IN RECENT MONTHS, HENRY KISSINGER, GEORGE SHULTZ, MADELEINE ALBRIGHT, BRZYZINSKI AND OTHERS, AND AGAINST THE ADVICE OF BOTH HIS SECRETARY OF SECRETARY OF STATE AND SECRETARY OF DEFENSE, THE PRESIDENT HAS REFUSED TO PROVIDE DEFENSIVE LEGAL ASSISTANCE TO UKRAINE. THE PRESIDENT'S CONTINUED INACTION FOR FEAR OF PROVOKING RUSSIA WAS SEEN BY PUTIN AS WEAKNESS AND INVITES THE VERY AGGRESSION WE SEEK TO AVOID. THE UKRAINIAN PEOPLE AREN'T ASKING FOR U.S. TROOPS. THEY ARE SIMPLY ASKING FOR THE RIGHT TOOLS TO DEFEND THEMSELVES AND THEIR COUNTRY AND THOSE ARE THE TOOLS THAT THIS LEGISLATION WOULD PROVIDE. MR. PRESIDENT, WE HAVE SEEN VLADIMIR PUTIN COMMIT AGGRESSION , DRAW BARKS COMMIT MORIGERATION,WITH WE ARE IN THE PHASE WHERE HE WILL SEEK CONTINUED AGGRESSION AND TERRITORY GRABBING BY VLADIMIR PUTIN AS HE ESTABLISHES HIS LAND BRIDGE TO CRIMEA AND PUTS ADDITIONAL PRESSURES ON BALTIC COMPANIES, MOLDOVA. MEANWHILE, WE REFUSE TO GIVE THE UKRAINIANS WEAPONS WITH WHICH TO DEFEND THEMSELVES. THIS BILL DOESN'T FORCE THE PRESIDENT TO PROVIDE LETHAL ASSISTANCE TO UKRAINE. TRUST ME, IF THERE WAS A WAY TO DO THAT, IT WOULD BE IN THIS BILL. THE PRESIDENT HAS A DECISION TO MAKE ON PROVIDING LETHAL ASSISTANCE TO UKRAINE, AND THAT DECISION HAS CONSEQUENCES FAR BEYOND WHETHER OR NOT THE PRESIDENT OBLIGATES THE FULL AMOUNT OF FUNDS AUTHORIZED IN A DECISION THAT IS LONG OVERDUE. MAKING MATTERS WORSE, STATEMENT OF ADMINISTRATION POLICY SEEKS FLEXIBILITY TO CONTINUE OUR NATION'S DEPENDENCE ON RUSSIAN ROCKET ENGINES. THE NDAA PUTS AN END TO THIS BY 2019 AND STOPS HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS OF DOLLARS FROM GOING TO VLADIMIR PUTIN AND HIS CRONIES. IT ELIMINATES A LAUNCH SUBSIDY THAT THE COMMANDER OF AIR FORCE SPACE COMMAND HAS STATED IMPEDES FAIR COMPETITION AND DIRECTS THE ADMINISTRATION TO STOP PLAYING GAMES, DEVELOP A DOMESTIC ROCKET ENGINE, NOT A NEW ROCKET SYSTEM, TO REPLACE THE RUSSIAN RD-180. MR. PRESIDENT, THE RUSSIANS ARE BEING PAID BILLIONS OF DOLLARS FOR THEIR ROCKET ENGINES AND THERE'S A MIDDLEMAN, UNQUOTE, THAT HAS MADE TENS OF MILLIONS OF DOLLARS JUST BY MOVING THESE ROCKETS FROM RUSSIA TO THE UNITED STATES. THERE'S AN INDIVIDUAL WHO RUNS THIS OUTFIT WHO HAS BEEN SANCTIONED BY THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT AND WE HAVE ELEMENTS IN THE PENTAGON THAT STILL WANT TO DEAL WITH THEM FOR AS LONG AS POSSIBLE. IN TESTIMONY BEFORE THE ARMED SERVICES COMMITTEE IN MARCH, GENERAL JOHN KELLY, THE COMMANDER OF THE SOUTHERN COMMAND TESTIFIED THE AMOUNT OF DRUGS AND PEOPLE THAT MOVE ACROSS OUR SOUTHWEST BORDER, IT DOESN'T SEEM ALL THAT SECURE TO ME. GENERAL KELLY WENT ON TO STATE THAT THE THREAT OF TERRORISTS CROSSING OUR SOUTHERN BORDER IS EXTREMELY SERIOUS AND IF A TERRORIST OR ALMOST ANYONE WANTS TO GET INTO OUR COUNTRY, THEY JUST PAY THE IF FARE. THEY JUST PAY THE FARE. THAT'S WHY THIS BILL WOULD PROVIDE $45 BILLION FOR OPERATION FAY LANGUAGES -- F PHALANX, AND AERIAL UP TO 60%. TODAY THE OPERATION HAS DIRECTLY CONTRIBUTED TO MORE THAN 96,000 APPREHENSIONS ALONG THE BORDER THE ADMINISTRATION TO 282,000 POUNDS OF DRUGS DESTINED FOR OUR COMMUNITIES. THE LEGISLATION DIRECTS THE SECRETARY OF DEFENSE TO PROVIDE UP TO $75 MILLION IN ADDITIONAL ASSISTANCE TO BORDER PROTECTION OPERATIONS TO SECURE THE SOUTHERN BORDER. POTENTIALLY INCLUDING THE DEPLOYMENT OF PERSONNEL, SURVEILLANCE ASSETS AND INTELLIGENCE SUPPORT FROM THE U.S. MILITARY. AND THE NDAA WOULD AUTHORIZE AN ADDITIONAL $50 MILLION TO ADDRESS U.S. SOUTHERN COMMAND'S UNFUNDED PRIORITIES TO INCREASE SURVEILLANCE AND INTERDICTION OPERATIONS IN CENTRAL AMERICA, A PRIMARY TRANSIT POINT FOR ILLICIT TRAFFICKING INTO THE UNITED STATES. FINALLY I'M DISAPPOINTED BY THE ADMINISTRATION'S PUZZLING RESPONSE TO PROVISIONS IN THE NDAA RELATED TO THE DETENTION FACILITY AT GUANTANAMO BAY. THE ADMINISTRATION ARGUES THAT THIS LEGISLATION'S LIMITATIONS PLACED ON GUANTANAMO TRANSFERS ARE UNNECESSARY AND BEYOND THE SCOPE OF CONGRESSIONAL AUTHORITY. THIS IS FALSE. CONGRESS HAS LONG HAD CONSTITUTIONAL AUTHORITY OVER WARTIME DETENTION MATTERS AND THERE ARE GOOD REASONS FOR CONGRESS TO ASSERT ITS AUTHORITY IN THIS INSTANCE. FOR OVER SIX YEARS THE ADMINISTRATION HAS STATED THAT ONE OF ITS HIGHEST POLICY PRIORITIES IS TO CLOSE THE DETENTION FACILITY AT GUANTANAMO, BUT FOR THAT SAME PERIOD OF TIME MEMBERS OF THE SENATE HAVE REPEATEDLY REQUESTED A PLAN THAT SPAINS HOW THE ADMINISTRATION WILL HANDLE EACH OF THE DETAINEES HELD THERE. UNFORTUNATELY, OVER THE LAST SIX AND A HALF YEARS THE ADMINISTRATION HAS CONSISTENTLY FAILED TO PROVIDE THAT PLAN. NOW AS THE TERRORIST THREAT COLD FRONTS AROUND THE WORLD AND GROWS, THE ADMINISTRATION CONTINUES TO DEMAND THAT THE FACILITY BE CLOSED WHILE FAILING TO EXPLAIN HOW IT WILL DO SO. THERE ARE SERIOUS LEGAL AND SECURITY CHALLENGES INHERENT IN MOVING THIS POPULATION TO OTHER BE LOCATIONS, WHETHER INSIDE OR OUTSIDE THE UNITED STATES. CONGRESS IS SIMPLY ASKING THE EXECUTIVE BRANCH TO EXPLAIN WHERE IT WILL HOLD THOSE SET FOR TRIAL, HOW IT WILL CONTINUE TO DETAIN DANGEROUS TERRORISTS PURSUANT TO THE LAWS OF WAR, AND HOW IT WILL MITIGATE THE RISKS OF MOVING THIS POPULATION. IF THE ADMINISTRATION CAN PROVIDE THOSE ANSWERS TO THESE BASIC QUESTIONS TO THE SATISFACTION OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE, THEN CONGRESSIONAL RESTRICTIONS ON THE MOVEMENT OF THESE DETAINEES WILL BE LIFTED AND THE PLAN CAN BE IMPLEMENTED. NOW, CONGRESS' NEED FOR ANSWERS IS EVEN MORE ACUTE AFTER THE ADMINISTRATION TRANSFERRED FIVE SENIOR TALIBAN DETAINEES UNDER SECRET AGREEMENT TO QATAR WITHOUT PRIOR NOTIFICATION TO CONGRESS AS REQUIRED BY LAW. THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES BLATANTLY VIOLATED THE LAW WHICH REQUIRED BEFORE THESE FIVE DETAINEES WERE TRANSFERRED TO QATAR THAT CONGRESS WAS NOTIFIED SIX MONTHS AHEAD OF TIME USING THE RATIONALE THEY WERE AFRAID THE INFORMATION MIGHT HERE. IS THAT THE JUSTIFICATION FOR BREAKING THE LAW AND THEN ISN'T IT UNDERSTANDABLE THERE IS SECRET SIX HERE ON BOTH SIDES OF THE AISLE ABOUT ANY PLAN THAT THEY MIGHT HAVE OR MAY NOT HAVE? ISN'T IT REASONABLE THAT THE CONGRESS OF THE UNITED STATES SHOULD BE PRESENTED WITH A PLAN THAT -- AND SHOULDN'T THE CONGRESS OF THE UNITED STATES EXPRESS ITS APPROVAL OR DISAPPROVAL? BUT WITH A GOOD -- THE NOTIFICATION STANDARD WAS ENACTED INTO LAW TO ALLOW THE PRESIDENT THE AUTHORITY TO IMPLEMENT HIS STATED POLICY BUT WITH A GOOD FAITH UNDERSTANDING THAT THE PEOPLE'S REPRESENTATIVES COULD WEIGH IN ON THESE IMPORTANT DECISIONS BEFORE THE TRANSFERS HAPPENED. THE PRESIDENT'S FAILURE TO ABIDE BY THE NOTIFICATION PROVISIONS UNDERMINED THE TRUST CONGRESS HAD IN THE PROCESS AND NOW AS THE TALIBAN CONTINUES TO PLOT ATTACKS AGAINST U.S. SERVICE MEMBERS IN AFGHANISTAN, THE ADMINISTRATION IS SCURRYING TO FIGURE OUT HOW TO KEEP THOSE FIVE TERRORISTS FROM THE BATTLEFIELD. THIS IS NOT CONGRESSIONAL OVERREACH. IT IS CONGRESSIONAL OVERSIGHT. THE PRESIDENT HAS DECIDED THAT THE SECURITY RISK OF KEEPING GUANTANAMO OPEN OUTWEIGH THE SECURITY AND LEGAL RISKS OF CLOSING IT. CONGRESS IS SEEKING INFORMATION THAT WILL ALLOW THE AMERICAN PEOPLE AND CONGRESS TO UNDERSTAND THAT DECISION. THE AMERICAN PEOPLE DESERVE AN EXPLANATION FOR HOW THE PRESIDENT PLANS TO EXECUTE ONE OF HIS MOST REPEATED POLICY GOALS. THERE IS SOME DISPUTE ABOUT WHAT PERCENTAGE OF THOSE WHO HAVE BEEN RELEASED FROM DETENTION AT GUANTANAMO HAVE REENTERED THE FIGHT. SOME SAY IT'S AS HIGH AS 30%, SOME ARE SAYING IT'S AS LOW AS 7% OR 8%. THERE IS NO DEBATE THAT THE DETAINEES WHO WERE RELEASED FROM GUANTANAMO HAVE REENTERED THE FIGHT, PLACING THE LIVES OF AMERICAN SERVICE MEN AND WOMEN IN JEOPARDY. AND IN DANGER. AND, OF COURSE, THE FIVE THAT WERE RELEASED WERE AMONGST THE TOUGHEST, THE WORST, THE HARDEST CASES AND NOW THERE IS SOME QUESTION AS TO WHETHER THEY WILL REMAIN UNDER STRICT SUPERVISION IN QATAR. SO LET ME CONCLUDE BY SIMPLY SAYING THAT THE NDAA IS FAR TOO IMPORTANT TO BE HELD HOSTAGE IN A BUDGET NEGOTIATION. FOR 53 CONSECUTIVE YEARS THE CONGRESS HAS PASSED A NATIONAL DEFENSE AUTHORIZATION ACT WITH THREATS TO OUR NATIONAL SECURITY MULTIPLYING AROUND THE WORLD, I WOULD HOPE THAT THIS YEAR WOULD BE NO DIFFERENT. I WANT TO THANK MY COLLEAGUE FROM RHODE ISLAND FOR ALL OF THE HARD WORK THAT HE AND HIS STAFF AND MEMBERS ON THAT SIDE OF THE AISLE HAVE DONE IN ORDER TO HAVE A LEGISLATION THAT PASSED OVERWHELMINGLY THROUGH THE SENATE ARMED SERVICES COMMITTEE, AND I HOPE WE CAN MOVE FORWARD ON GETTING THAT LEGISLATION THROUGH THE UNITED STATES SENATE, CONSULTATION AND COMPROMISE WITH THE HOUSE, AND TO THE WHITE HOUSE FOR THE PRESIDENT'S SIGNATURE. AND I WOULD SAY AGAIN, I READ CAREFULLY THE ADMINISTRATION'S OBJECTION TO THE PRESIDENT -- TO THE LEGISLATION AS IT NOW STANDS. THESE ARE NOT VALID IN SOME CASES, IN OTHER CASES WE WOULD BE GLAD TO NEGOTIATE WITH THE WHITE HOUSE AS WE GO TO CONFERENCE WITH THE HOUSE AFTER COMPLETING THIS, BUT I SINCERELY HOPE AND PRAY THAT THERE ARE SO MANY PROVISIONS THERE THAT ARE IMPORTANT TO THE LIVES OF THE MEN AND WOMEN WHO ARE SERVING IN OUR MILITARY THAT I WOULD HOPE THE PRESIDENT WOULD TAKE INTO CONSIDERATION HOW IMPORTANT THIS IS TO THE MEN AND WOMEN WHO ARE SERVING, TO THEIR LIVES, TO THEIR WELFARE, THEIR EQUIPMENT, THEIR TRAINING, AND THEIR ABILITY TO DEFEND THIS NATION. MR. PRESIDENT, I SUGGEST THE ABSENCE OF A QUORUM. THE PRESIDING OFFICER: THE CLERK WILL CALL THE ROLL. QUORUM
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