Durbin Statement On Deadlocked Appropriations Process, Republican Fear-Mongering

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), Vice Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Defense Subcommittee and Ranking Member of the Senate Judiciary Immigration Subcommittee, today released the following statement after voting against the motion to proceed to four Senate Appropriations Committee funding bills, including the Senate Appropriations Defense Subcommittee funding bill:

“President Trump continues to divert funds from our men and women in uniform and their families in order to build his almighty wall.  Rather than oppose that outrage, Senate Republicans refuse to step out-of-line with the President.  The Democratic position remains unchanged: the President cannot divert money from our military in order to fulfill a campaign promise, and I hope that my Republican colleagues will one day agree with that idea.

“Every member of the armed forces should also know that their promised 3.1 percent pay raise will go into effect on January 1, despite the fear-mongering that some politicians are using.  This fight is really about making sure our troops don’t get short-changed by having the White House divert billions more from the military budget.  Republicans want a defense bill that would allow the President to siphon money off from pay, equipment, and even aid to Ukraine – we will not stand for that.”

Last month, a report from The Washington Post stated that there will be “dire outcomes” for military families if Republicans refuse to terminate the President’s emergency declaration and stop the Trump Administration’s plan to steal funds for military construction projects in order to pay for the border wall.

Last month, Durbin did not support reporting to the floor the Senate Appropriations Defense Subcommittee funding bill because of President Trump’s continued infringement of Congress’s power of the purse.  To date, President Trump has diverted $6.1 billion worth of investments in our service members and their families for his border wall.