WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA) released the following statement after voting in support of starting debate on the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Act

“This vital legislation for our men and women who have served and continue to serve outlines key policy objectives and funding goals of great importance to our national security; fulfills the commitments to our servicemembers and their families; and ensures our military has the facilities necessary to defend our nation. 

“Working to address some of the rampant problems at the Department of Veterans Affairs, this bill improves veterans’ access to health care services, including homeless assistance, caregiver services, and expanding the current treatments offered.

“In addition, this bill provides much needed funding to advance our missile defense systems; supports National Guard and U.S. Army Reserve construction needs; improves military family housing, medical, and Department of Defense educational facilities; as well as funds the NATO Security Investment Program infrastructure to respond to international threats and challenges. 

At a time when our nation faces ever increasing and complex global challenges, this bill helps keep our most dangerous adversaries detained at Guantanamo Bay by restricting the Obama Administration from building or outfitting facilities for relocation to the United States.

“I am therefore deeply disappointed to see my Democratic colleagues play partisan games with our national defense, rather than supporting our active duty troops, veterans and their families. Once again, Senate Democrats are backtracking from their previous support for this bill that passed out of committee with strong bipartisan support. 

“I remain committed to securing funding for what is one of the most important appropriations bills we consider, especially in the face of such great global threats and challenges.”

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