On Senate Floor, Tester Blasts Colleagues for Delaying Military Funding, Ukraine Aid: ‘Enough excuses, let’s get the job done’
Senator used powerful position to secure critical aid for Ukraine as part of government funding deal
U.S. Senator Jon Tester, Chairman of the powerful Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense, today blasted members of the Senate minority on the Senate floor for blocking the annual government funding legislation that includes funding for the American military and defense and humanitarian aid to Ukraine in the face of the Russian invasion.
“The good Senator from Florida is blocking this [government funding bill] or we’d be voting on it right now. You want to talk politics? That’s what this is about—politics,” said Chairman Tester. “We need to pass this bill. If you’re concerned about Ukraine, we need to pass this bill. If you’re concerned about feeding hungry people in this country, we need to pass this bill. If you’re concerned about childcare, we need to pass this bill. If you’re concerned about housing, we need to pass this bill. If you’re concerned about the high cost of gasoline, we need to pass this bill. And if you’re concerned about the threat China has to this country, we need to pass this bill. Enough excuses, let’s get the job done.”
Senator Rick Scott (R-Fla.) sought to delay voting on the omnibus government funding legislation, which includes $782.5 billion in national security funding, including $744 billion for the Department of Defense, in order to seek a failed stand-alone show vote on aid to Ukraine that was already included in the government funding package.
Chairman Tester secured the aid to Ukraine as a part of the omnibus to address military requirements arising from the Russian invasion. This measure provides $6.5 billion for the Department of Defense, of which $3.5 billion is to restore military stocks of equipment that has been transferred to the Government of Ukraine, and $3 billion is to address deployment, operational, and intelligence costs for U.S. forces deployed to Europe to deter further aggression.
As Defense Chairman, Tester secured critical funding and priorities in the government funding package to ensure America’s national security, provide essential resources to our troops, and invest in the readiness and capabilities of critical military installations like Malmstrom Air Force Base.