NATIONAL DEFENSE AUTHORIZATION ACT; Congressional Record Vol. 165, No. 107
(Senate - June 25, 2019)

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[Pages S4476-S4477]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]




                   NATIONAL DEFENSE AUTHORIZATION ACT

  Mr. McCONNELL. Now, Mr. President, on a related matter, this week the 
Senate is considering the National Defense Authorization Act. The 
current situation with Iran is a stark reminder of our urgent 
responsibility to ensure our military remains equipped and ready to 
deter threats and defeat potential challenges to our security.
  When we pass the NDAA this week, the Senate will extend a 58-year 
tradition of authorizing the resources U.S. forces need to stay on the 
cutting edge. And I hope we will do so with wide, bipartisan support.
  This year's NDAA directs $750 billion to fund the priorities of the 
Department of Defense, from the Navy's fleet strength to missile 
defense capabilities. It increases procurement for critical weapons 
systems, doubles down on research and development of next-generation 
technologies, and makes new investments in training and support 
services for servicemembers and their families.
  In short, this is legislation that sends a clear signal to our men 
and women in uniform and to the rest of the world. Here is what it 
says: The United States

[[Page S4477]]

takes today's challenges seriously. We take our commitments seriously. 
And we take our defense seriously.
  So especially in light of current events, I was incredulous to hear 
the Democratic leader call yesterday to postpone moving forward with 
the NDAA. Apparently, some of our Democratic friends need to go hit the 
Presidential campaign trail. They can't be here because they have to go 
campaign for not 1 day but 2 this week. They are too busy to stay in 
the Senate and authorize the resources that our All-Volunteer Armed 
Forces rely on. Postpone legislation on our national defense to 
accommodate the Presidential race in the middle of this ongoing crisis 
overseas? Come on. Come on.
  I am sorry our Democratic friends feel compelled to skip out so they 
can compete for the favor of ``the resistance.'' The rest of us, the 
Republican majority--we are going to be right here. We are going to be 
right here working and voting to make America stronger and safer.
  Of course, the NDAA does not exhaust the urgent priorities we should 
attend to this week. As my Republican colleagues and I have been 
arguing for 2 months now--2 months--Congress must address the 
humanitarian crisis down on the southern border. The situation is well 
documented. Nobody is in doubt.
  For months, record numbers of people have arrived at the border, 
overwhelming--completely overwhelming agencies and facilities. The 
Department of Homeland Security has had to redirect resources and 
personnel from other critical missions to assist the Border Patrol. The 
Secretary of Health and Human Services has said: ``We are running out 
of money.'' This is the Secretary of Health and Human Services. ``We 
are functionally out of space.''
  I was encouraged last week when badly needed emergency funding 
finally garnered some momentum. Under the leadership of Chairman Shelby 
and Senator Leahy, the Appropriations Committee approved funding 30 to 
1. That is about as close to bipartisan as it could ever get.
  There is no reason, no excuse, why this noncontroversial measure 
should not get a similar, overwhelmingly bipartisan vote here on the 
floor this week--this week, not some other time. Actually, there is no 
reason it shouldn't happen today. Partisan delays have exacerbated this 
crisis long enough. It is well past time my Democratic colleagues stop 
standing in the way and let the Senate get this done.
  I suggest the absence of a quorum.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll.
  The senior assistant legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  Ms. KLOBUCHAR. Madam President, I ask unanimous consent that the 
order for the quorum call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.

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