McConnell Wants Full Defense Funding in Next Budget Bill 

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., just announced he will not support future short-term spending bills unless the Defense Department appropriations are funded for the remainder of the year.

The Senate as early as tomorrow will take up a bill that would keep the government operating for another three weeks while both parties try to work out a deal on a spending plan that would last until the remainder of the fiscal year ending on Sept. 30.

But lawmakers in both parties are becoming increasingly frustrated by a pattern of passing stopgap plans and say this will be the last one they support unless Defense and Homeland Security get full funding.

Sen. John McCain said Wednesday the short-term budgets are making it difficult for the nation's military to operate.

"We can't do this to the men and women who are serving, to deprive them of the equipment, training and wherewithal, when we are in two wars.

McConnell said he is "totally confident," Congress will not pass a new budget bill that does not fund the Pentagon for the remainder of the year, even if the next funding measure is just a few weeks long.

Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., said she would not back another short term bill if the Homeland Security Department, in addition to the Pentagon, are not provided funding for the rest of the year.

"We most certainly cannot let our guard down as it pertains to our safety here at home," Landrieu said.

The announcements will make it even more imperative that Democrats and Republicans strike a long term deal, though both sides so far seem unwilling to compromise on a $50 billion gap in spending proposals.





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