Durbin Statement On Defense Spending In Republicans' COVID-19 Response Legislation

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), Vice Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Defense Subcommittee, today released the following statement regarding the defense spending in Republicans’ proposed coronavirus response legislation:

“While slashing unemployment benefits for millions of Americans and zeroing assistance to state and local governments, the Republican proposal adds $29.4 billion in new defense spending.  Of this amount, only $5.2 billion has to do with protecting service members who need PPE, advancing Army research efforts on a COVID-19 vaccine, and preventing layoffs at critical defense facilities ranging from arsenals to child care centers.  The remaining $24 billion is a wish-list gift for defense contractors conveniently directed to states where GOP poll numbers are sagging – including more than $8 billion in earmarks, $3 billion or more of which is a payback to defense programs hit by this year’s wall reprogramming. 

“In the midst of a life and death pandemic, Senator McConnell and the White House are out to prove politics is alive and well.”