WASHINGTON, D.C.—At the House Leadership stakeout today, Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) highlighted the efforts House Republicans are making to restore the military to ensure the security of our country, but most importantly for the safety of our men and women in uniform. He also discussed the future of immigration legislation in the House and the dangers of elected officials resorting to calls for harassment against people with different political opinions.
Click here or on the image above to watch his remarks.
On the Department of Defense Appropriations Act of 2019:
“…this Department of Defense appropriations bill is critically important to our nation’s security and defense. And it’s a bill that we’re going to be whipping later today. I look forward to a strong vote. Frankly, it’s a bill that everybody should be voting for because it meets one of our basic constitutional responsibilities for Congress, and that is to provide for our nation’s defense.
“What’s really important is we are finally addressing the neglect that we’ve seen over the years to our nation’s defense. This is something President Trump has emphasized—rebuilding our nation’s military.
“Just last week, we had another plane fall out of the sky. Just think about this: In America, the United States of America’s military, almost once a month now, we’re seeing a plane fall out of the sky in training exercises. And in many cases, we’re losing men and women that are in those planes that are dying because the Department of Defense hasn’t had the tools that they need to provide basic equipment and supplies for planes.
“Last year, we saw almost by a three-to-one ratio more deaths by men and women in uniform from combat training exercises than we saw in actual combat. By a three-to-one margin.
“This is something that needs to be addressed. It’s been needing to be addressed for a long time and we’re finally addressing it with this bill. So, I hope that, as we pass it through the House, we see the Senate act quickly on this bill too.
“I’m glad that yesterday the Senate voted by a large margin, I believe 86 to 5, to pass three of the appropriations bills that this House has already moved. So, we’re finally seeing a working appropriations process. I think that’s important for the country.”
On votes on immigration legislation:
“Obviously, on immigration we’re going to be moving a bill that addresses the president’s requests. We have a bill that actually funds the wall; provides real border security, which we’ve been needing for a long time, for decades, in fact; deals with so many of the interior problems, where Secretary Nielsen can’t even properly defend and, frankly she can’t even deport people that are felons that get out of prison—felons in this country that came here illegally. This is a bill that’s critically important that we’re going to be moving and working with our members on the details of that bill.”
On maintaining civility and respect in politics:
“I finally want to talk about civility in our discourse. We saw, again, over the weekend some more insightful comments from colleagues
“Look, I mean, I know firsthand, we’ve got to be real careful about how we discuss our differences. The great part of America is that we can discuss our differences freely and openly. It’s one of the things our founders set up, I mean, it’s part of the First Amendment.
“But we also have a responsibility to make sure that, as we’re discussing our disagreements, we’re not trying to incite others to violence. And that’s, I think, where the real fine line needs to be. Nobody should be inciting harassment or violence of any sort just because we disagree with each other on issues.
“We’ve got a great battlefield of ideas where we can actually discuss our disagreements publicly, but we’ve got to do it in a civil way where we respect the differences of opinion.
“And we have elections. And in the case of Congress, every two years we get to go to the voters and state our case. That’s the place where those disagreements need to be discussed.”