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U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin Statement on Vote for Reed-Mikulski Amendment to Invest in a Safe and Strong America

Senate Republicans block amendment to maintain parity between defense and non-defense spending

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin released the following statement after Senate Republicans voted to reject the Reed-Mikulski Amendment, which would have maintained parity between defense and non-defense spending by making strong investments to respond to the heroin and opioid crisis, the Zika virus, the lead contamination crisis in Flint, and more:

“Today’s vote was about fairness and priorities. I believe that if we are going to provide more funding for the Pentagon, we should also invest in our middle class, ensure our security here at home and step up to the plate by providing the resources Americans need to respond to the serious emergencies they face, including the heroin and opioid epidemic, the Zika virus, and lead contamination in drinking water.

“We all agree that we need to make investments in a strong military to protect and defend our national security, which is why I voted to advance the McCain amendment to invest in our national defense. However, we have previously come together in agreement on the need to take on our national security challenges and our challenges here at home in a balanced way. Moving forward, I believe that Congress needs to maintain this balance as it continues its work to fund national priorities in the appropriations process.

“The American people need stronger investments in the challenges they face each and every day trying to get ahead. We have unfinished business in the Congress to take on the heroin and opioid epidemic, fight the Zika virus, invest in clean drinking water, bolster our vulnerable cybersecurity infrastructure, boost TSA security and better support our law enforcement needs.”

Last year, the Bipartisan Budget Act replaced extreme automatic cuts that would have short-changed national defense, weakened the economy, and cost jobs with smarter savings. The agreement, supported by Republicans and Democrats, established that Congress will provide the necessary funding for national security and economic security by ensuring that every dollar of investment in defense is matched by a dollar of investment in a strong America. The Reed-Mikulski amendment rejects efforts to break this promise and honors the agreement by investing in a strong America – increasing funding for homeland security, investing in the economy, and addressing national emergencies such as the Zika virus, the opioid crisis, and the need to help communities like Flint get clean drinking water.

Prior to the vote, Senator Baldwin addressed the Senate urging for passage of the Reed-Mikulski amendment.