Wenstrup Statement on H.R. 601 - the Hurricane Supplemental, Debt Limit, Continuing Appropriations, and Flood Insurance Package

Washington, September 8, 2017 Contact: Hailey Sadler (202-225-3164)

Washington, D.C. – Today, Congressman Brad Wesntrup (OH-02) released the following statement after voting "no" on H.R. 601 – the Hurricane Supplemental, Debt Limit, Continuing Appropriations, and Flood Insurance Package:

"I support providing disaster relief for the American families impacted by recent natural disasters, and I voted in favor of a stand-alone relief bill earlier this week. However, I could not support a package tying disaster relief funding to raising the debt ceiling limit for three months – without any serious conversation on offsetting spending and without providing relief to our men and women in uniform who, as I’ve seen firsthand, continue to be underfunded, underequipped, and, unfortunately, often undertrained.

 Forcing our military to operate once again under stop-gap funding does long-term damage to our Armed Forces. It’s fiscally irresponsible and strategically detrimental to continue last year’s course without giving our defenders the opportunity to properly prepare for today’s threats.

Already, we’ve seen record numbers of training accidents due to a shortage of training, equipment, and maintenance. DOD reports to Congress have detailed how yet another continuing resolution would exacerbate the military’s current readiness crisis, including halting training exercises, grounding aircraft squadrons, and pausing maintenance and modernization of critical equipment. All of this at a time when threats from North Korea and other adversaries are increasing every day.

 Our nation has an important role to play in providing assistance when nature destroys. Our nation also has a moral obligation to the men and women we send into battle to ensure they are the best equipped, best trained, and best prepared to accomplish their mission and come home safely. This bill could have addressed both, and it did not. Instead, today’s course is more of the same.

 For too long, Washington’s dysfunctional habit of governing – and budgeting – by crisis instead of long-range vision and strategy has meant we have not fulfilled this responsibility. The blame for this spans both executive and legislative branches of government and both political parties. But this negligence must stop. We have an constitutional duty, and an obligation to our men and women in uniform that we send to the frontline, to fully resource our military, and to do so without delay."