Walorski Statement on National Defense Bill
Votes Against Partisan Bill That Underfunds Military, Undercuts Readiness, Allows Gitmo Transfers
WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.) today released the following statement after voting against H.R. 2500, a partisan version of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that would harm military readiness:
“Congress’ most important responsibility is to provide for the national defense and support our brave men and women in uniform. Sadly, the NDAA passed by the House today falls short of these goals and breaks a longstanding tradition of bipartisan cooperation.
“While the Senate passed its bill with overwhelming support from both parties, House Democratic leaders offered a partisan proposal that underfunds our national defense, undercuts military readiness, and reverses prohibitions on transferring terrorist detainees from Gitmo.
“I hope they will put politics aside and pass a commonsense, bipartisan national defense bill, including two provisions I authored to encourage adoption of military working dogs by their former handlers and connect more wounded warriors to service dogs.”
The Senate recently passed its bipartisan version of the NDAA, which would authorize $750 billion in defense funding, by an overwhelming vote of 86 to 8.
The partisan House version of the NDAA – which passed by a narrow margin without a single Republican vote and with eight Democrats opposed – would:
- Underfund the Department of Defense (DoD) by providing $17 billion less than the Senate version;
- Cut $1.2 billion from military personnel accounts that fund troop pay, benefits, and housing;
- Seek to close the terrorist detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, by removing longstanding prohibitions on transferring Gitmo detainees to U.S. soil;
- Cut critical programs designed to deter Russia and China, and cut nuclear deterrent programs; and
- Restrict critical military missions to support border security.
The House adopted two amendments offered by Congresswoman Walorski. One would recognize the honorable service of military working dogs and soldier handlers in the Tactical Explosive Detection Dog (TEDD) program and encourage the Army to prioritize adoption of the dogs to former TEDD handlers. The other would increase by $11 million the Wounded Warrior Service Dog Program.
Walorski represents the 2nd Congressional District of Indiana, serving as a member of the House Ways and Means Committee.