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Senator Thad Cochran speaks on filibuster, national defense

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Thad Cochran (R-Miss)  encouraged Senate Democrats Thursday to end their filibuster of the FY2017 Defense Appropriations Bill. 

Sen. Cochran said there’s work to be done.

“The Senate has a responsibility to give our men and women in uniform the resources they need to defend our nation.  We do so in this bipartisan bill.  Filibustering its consideration causes uncertainties that endanger our national security,” said Cochran, who also chairs the Senate Defense Appropriations Subcommittee.

“This bill is the product of bipartisan work to provide the resources the President and our military leaders say is necessary to defend our country and its national security interests.  Its passage would provide the stability and security our men and women in the Armed Forces need,” he said.

The Senate Appropriations Committee unanimously approved the FY2017 Defense Appropriations Bill in May, but Senate Democrats are now blocking the measure from being considered by the Senate.

The Senate FY2017 Defense Appropriations Bill provides $515.9 billion in base Department of Defense funding and $58.6 billion in Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) funding.  The bill is consistent with the amounts approved in the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 and redirects $15.1 billion in targeted cuts to unfunded requirements identified by the Services.

This filibuster marked the fifth consecutive time that Senate Democrats have blocked consideration of the defense appropriations measure.  The FY2017 bill was first blocked by Democrats on July 7, mirroring repeated delaying tactics by Democrats on the FY2016 defense bill after three failed votes last year.

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