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Granger Remarks on Defense FY21 Full Committee Markup

Madam Chair, thank you for yielding.

Before I begin my remarks about the Defense bill, I want to take a moment to recognize the Chairman of the Subcommittee, Mr. Visclosky.

I had the honor of working closely with him when I chaired the Defense subcommittee. Chairman Visclosky is one of a kind. His passion and commitment to our servicemen and women and their families is absolute.

He serves with dignity, with modesty, and with determination. Like Nita Lowey, he is also a joy to work with.

He leaves behind an extraordinary legacy and will be greatly missed.

I also want to thank my friend, Ken Calvert, for the outstanding job he is doing leading this subcommittee as our ranking member. You cannot find anyone more committed to our national security.

Providing funding for our nation’s defense is one of the most important roles the founders gave to Congress. I know the Chairman and the Ranking Member take this responsibility as seriously as I do.

Turning to the bill before us, first, I am very pleased to see that the Chairman has focused on important procurement funding that is so essential for our security.

The bill also prioritizes healthcare and quality of life issues, which have significant impacts on readiness. We must make sure that DOD and the services stay focused on these issues.

I appreciate that the Chairman included many Republican priorities, and I am thankful for his efforts and those of the Committee staff. 

Unfortunately, I have concerns with several policy riders in the bill that will prevent me from supporting it at this time.  

This bill must become law, and I am concerned that many of these provisions could draw a veto threat.

These provisions include:

  • Limiting funds to construct a wall or fence at the border;
  • Renaming military installations;
  • Exempting the Ukraine security assistance initiative from the normal OMB process; and
  • Continuing to limit DOD’s budget flexibility.

We will have to drop or modify any controversial language that could jeopardize this bill’s chances of being signed into law.

We must provide our troops with the funds they need to defend our nation. 

This bill is simply too important to be slowed down by politics.  

Thank you, Madam Chair, I yield back.

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