Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) issued this statement following the failed vote last night on the Fiscal Year 2017 Defense Appropriations Act.
The Senate voted 50-44 (60 votes required for adoption) on a procedural motion that would have advanced debate on this legislation. Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and his Democrat colleagues voted against allowing debate and amendments to proceed. They blocked the full Senate from considering the measure, despite the unanimous support the bill received at the committee level. The legislation provides funding for the entire Department of Defense including troops' paychecks, weapons systems, and counterterrorism and intelligence operations.
"Once again, Senate Democrats are choosing partisan politics and senseless obstruction over doing the people's work. This time, they filibustered and blocked debate on an important bill that funds our national defense, including our troops' pay and benefits.
"President Obama announced this week that he is keeping more troops on the ground in Afghanistan. I find it outrageous that my colleagues across the aisle - only a few days later - would vote against funding these soldiers' paychecks while they are in harm's way. National defense is one of the most important responsibilities of the federal government. It is a shame that the Senate Democrats are refusing to fund the armed forces and keep the American people safe - especially considering the increased threat we're facing from violent Islamist extremism around the globe."