Durbin, Leahy Statement On FY18 Defense Appropriations Chairman's Mark

WASHINGTON—U.S. Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), vice chairman of the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, and U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT), vice chairman of the Appropriations Committee, released the following statement on the release of the Fiscal Year 2018 Defense Appropriations Act. The bill exceeds President Trump’s request by $15.3 billion, and exceeds the sequestration caps by $70 billion.

This is a step forward, though we remain deeply concerned about the process. So before anyone cheers the major new investments in our national defense, we should pause and recognize that the lack of a budget deal means that all of these new investments will be automatically cut by 13% beginning on January 15th. 

The right way forward is to conclude a budget deal and then pass an omnibus as soon as possible that contains equal investments in both the military and America’s many critical domestic needs. That must include the bipartisan Dream Act to which the President has already committed.

And while the lack of a budget deal to address these issues is extremely concerning, we would like to recognize Chairman Cochran’s work in the Defense Subcommittee to look out for America’s service members and the security of our country. We remain hopeful that a budget agreement can be reached soon to keep all of America strong.