Scalise: It’s Time to Give “Certainty to Our Troops”

WASHINGTON, D.C.— At the House Republican Leadership stakeout today, House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) discussed the importance of passing the Department of Defense appropriations bill this week that will give the nation’s military certainty on its funding as they continue to defend our safety and freedom. He also expressed his hope that the Steve Gleason Enduring Voices Act of 2017 will be passed this week, which will permanently extend Medicare coverage of speech generating devices. Both are included within the government funding bill the House will consider later today.

Click here or on the image above to see his full remarks.

On defense appropriations:

“Good morning. This is going to be a busy week in Congress and it starts today. We are doing some real important work to pass a bill that properly funds government and, most importantly, removes the uncertainty that our men and women in uniform have right now. By including the DOD appropriations bill in this funding of government bill, it actually gives real certainty to our troops.

“You know, our men and women, for too long, in the military that serve our country that sacrifice for our nation, have not had the certainty because we’ve been operating under CRs. And the generals will tell you, that’s one of the most dangerous things.

 “One of the biggest threats to our military is not having the certainty that they’re going to have the tools they need so that we can not only have the ability to go out and confront the enemies all around the world, but that our men and women in uniform can have the safety in understanding and knowing that we — we’re giving them the best equipment that’s available.

“It’s about time we do it. It’s about time the Senate actually takes this up. And hopefully in the next day or two, the Senate will take action after the House does this.”

On the Steve Gleason Enduring Voices Act of 2017:

“One of the other issues included, we have some funding for community health centers, something very important for people all around the country.

“And also included in this bill is something I’ve worked very closely with our Conference Chair, Cathy McMorris Rodgers, on, and that is to make permanent the Steve Gleason Act. This is something that Congress came together on in a very bipartisan way to at least have a two-year renewal of the Steve Gleason Act, which is something that’s important to the entire ALS community. There was a ruling a few years ago out of Medicare that was going to take away the speech-generating devices that are so critical to giving a voice to those people with diseases like ALS that lose their voice. And so, Steve Gleason and his foundation became very vocal in making — raising awareness all around the country, and ultimately Congress came together and took action.

“But that action expires and in this bill, this funding of government bill, we actually make permanent the Steve Gleason Act, so that all of those people in the ALS community can have the certainty they need that they will have the ability to speak and have a voice that they deserve.”