Crenshaw Says, “It’s About Time”
Congress Finally Passes a Bill Funding Military Personnel & Operations that the President Will Sign
June 20, 2008
Contact: Jeremy Steffens (202) 225-2501
– Yesterday, Congress finally carried out its responsibility to fully fund our nation’s troops. House Democrats had previously brought the process to a standstill by repeatedly putting forward bills that the President would not sign. Previous bills contained troop withdrawal timetables and bloated domestic spending. Finally, the majority leadership relented allowing a compromise bill to come to the floor that both Republicans and many Democrats could support.
“It’s about time,” said Rep. Ander Crenshaw. “Our troops overseas have been waiting for this funding for too long, over 500 days, and I’m pleased that Washington was able to put aside its election year politics long enough to do what was right for the men and women in uniform.”
The legislation had been blocked for months by anti-war Democrats even as Pentagon officials had continually warned that the long delay in passage could leave the Army and Marines out of money by the middle of June.
“While it took multiple overtimes to get this bill done, I am pleased that this bill adds new and expanded educational benefits for veterans. It ensures not only that veterans are provided a four-year college education, but now also allows the benefit to be transferred to a spouse or another family member. I strongly supported this addition because it will provide extra incentive for personnel to stay in active military service. This benefit, under the GI Bill, is the least we can do for the military men and women returning from service in Iraq and Afghanistan,” said Rep. Crenshaw.
“The passage is a huge win for the military and provides troop funding for fiscal year 2008-2009. The agreement does not contain any of the war restrictions that Democrats fought so hard to include. The legislation ensures that military commanders in the field are empowered to make decisions without micro-management from politically motivated lawmakers in Washington,” added Crenshaw.
Crenshaw added, “Our military commanders are the best trained, best equipped, and most experienced officers in the world. They deserve to have the ability and freedom to make the necessary decisions to accomplish their mission, and this bill ensures that. ”
Republicans also fought against and defeated Democrats’ attempts to insert huge tax increases and additional benefits to the unemployment insurance extension. The new agreement includes a 20 week work requirement and limits the extension to an additional 13 weeks, instead of the 26 additional weeks that were in the Democrat version of the bill.