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Majority Leader Schumer Floor Remarks After Republicans Block National Defense Authorization Act

Washington, D.C.   Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) today spoke on the Senate floor after Republicans blocked advancement of the annual National Defense Authorization Act. Below are Senator Schumer’s remarks:

There should be no misunderstanding about the absurdity that just played out on the floor.

For a while now, Republicans have claimed they want to pass the defense authorization legislation immediately.

They said we couldn’t afford to wait any longer.

They called it a core duty—a bare minimum.

And they called on me to bring it to the floor for a full vote.

But a few moments ago. Republicans blocked legislation to support our troops, support our families, and keep Americans safe. Republican dysfunction has again derailed bipartisan progress.

The Republican choice to block our bill—and by extension legislation to support our troops and protect the homeland—can be summed up in two words: inexplicable and outrageous. I hope the American people are watching.

And don’t tell me we aren’t offering a fair process. We have ample debate. We had amendments from both sides. We had a huge number of managers' amendments, equal numbers Democrat and Republican. We offered to debate [and vote on], I believe it is, 19 amendments, more than has been on most other bills of this type.

In any other time in history, what we offered Republicans would be considered a very fair and generous compromise.

But just because a few Republicans didn’t get every single concession they insisted on, they are now halting the process.

Despite this vote, Democrats will continue to work to make sure our troops get paid and our vital defense programs can continue.