abolishing Covid vaccine military mandate, Authorization vs appropriation, avoiding government shutdown, Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe, continuing resolution, Covid vaccine military mandate, CR, defense spending, deterrence, Graham, Helsinki Commission, Kennedy, military funding, military readiness, National Security, NDAA, Omnibus, unfunded mandate, US Congressional budget, US military, US National Defense Authorization Act, US Senate, US Senate Armed Services Committee, Wicker
“The proposed bill would fully fund the nation’s military and avoid a continuing resolution (CR) that would shortchange defense spending. Senator Wicker has been a longstanding opponent of CRs, citing their costly impact on national security…. Wicker said. “Every day we operate under a continuing resolution destroys our military readiness and deterrence and costs our service members hundreds of millions in lost capacity and overruns.” (US Senator Wicker, Dec. 20, 2022)
21 Republican Senators voted for the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), but not the relevant appropriations bill (a subset of the Omnibus bill), meaning that either they effectively didn’t really vote for it, and/or they voted for some unfunded mandate within the bill, such as removing the Covid vaccine military mandate:
“Authorization and Appropriation: The congressional budget process distinguishes between “authorizations,” which establish or define the activities of the federal government, and “appropriations,” which finance those activities. In itself an authorization does not provide funding for government activities. An authorization generally provides legal authority for the government to act, usually by establishing, continuing, or restricting a federal agency, program, policy, project, or activity. It may also, explicitly or implicitly, authorize subsequent congressional action to provide appropriations for those purposes. An appropriation generally provides both the legal authority to obligate future payments from the Treasury, and the ability to make subsequent payments to satisfy those obligations.” “Defense Authorization and Appropriations Bills: FY1961-FY2018” Updated April 19, 2018 https://crsreports.congress.gov/product/pdf/RL/98-756/48 https://miningawareness.wordpress.com/2022/12/23/fy23-omnibus-appropriations-package-summary-covid-vaccine-military-mandate-abolished-in-the-bill/
US Senator Wicker, who serves on the US Senate Armed Services Committee, the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (Helsinki Commission), as well as the Environment and Public Works, and Commerce, Science and Transportation Committees, explained what was at stake with the year-end “omnibus” funding bill:
https://www.wicker.senate.gov/committee-assignments After US Senator Wicker’s explanation is US Senator Graham’s comment on the bill, followed by US Senator Kennedy’s statement on his opposition to the bill. By all appearances Kennedy is a fiscal conservative to the depths of his soul. Kennedy worked under Louisiana Governor Buddy Roemer, who, as a US Congressman, slept on a couch in his office in Washington DC to save taxpayer money. Since then, it’s apparently become commonplace. Kennedy has supported Ukraine: https://www.kennedy.senate.gov/public/2022/3/no-more-imf-subsidies-for-dictators
One litmus test of real conservatives vs. the fake conservative plastic Putin party of “nyet” is the position on sanctions against Russia. The current sanctions remain weak and insufficient, contrary to popular belief. https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/nyet
Here’s one explanation of NDAA vs Omnibus: “U.S. Rep. Terri Sewell voted for H.R. 7776, the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2023… Funding must still be appropriated in the end-of-year omnibus funding bill…. Passed annually by Congress since 1961, the NDAA authorizes funding levels for the Department of Defense. This legislation allows the Armed Forces to pay, train and equip U.S. service members, support America’s allies around the world, and carry out essential national security operations.” https://sewell.house.gov/media-center/press-releases/rep-sewell-votes-fiscal-year-2023-national-defense-authorization-act-0 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Defense_Authorization_Act
The Omnibus funding “bill includes $858 billion for defense, as authorized by the NDAA” https://www.cpr.org/2022/12/23/congress-omnibus-budget-bill-passes/ https://www.cpr.org/2022/12/08/colorado-congress-house-national-defense-authorization-act-vote/
Here is a list of 18 Republican senators who voted in favor of the Omnibus bill:
Roy Blunt (Missouri), John Boozman (Arkansas), Shelley Capito (West Virginia), Susan Collins (Maine), John Cornyn (Texas), Tom Cotton (Arkansas), Lindsey Graham (South Carolina), Jim Inhofe (Oklahoma), Mitch McConnell (Kentucky), Jerry Moran (Kansas), Lisa Murkowski (Alaska), Rob Portman (Ohio), Mitt Romney (Utah), Mike Rounds (South Dakota), Richard Shelby (Alabama), John Thune (South Dakota), Roger Wicker (Mississippi), Todd Young (Indiana) https://www.newsweek.com/full-list-republican-senators-who-voted-pass-1-7-trillion-omnibus-bill-1769176 There are 21 Republicans who voted for the NDAA, but didn’t vote for its funding (Omnibus). If someone voted for the NDAA but didn’t vote to fund it, then they didn’t really vote for the NDAA, apart from any parts that don’t require funding. https://www.govtrack.us/congress/votes/compare/s396-117.2022
“WICKER STATEMENT ON YEAR-END FUNDING BILL
Every Day Under Continuing Resolution Destroys Readiness, Costs Military Millions
Year-End Bill Also Includes $600M For Jackson Water Improvements
DECEMBER 20, 2022
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Roger Wicker, R-Miss., a senior member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, today declared his intent to vote in favor of a year-end funding agreement. The proposed bill would fully fund the nation’s military and avoid a continuing resolution (CR) that would shortchange defense spending. Senator Wicker has been a longstanding opponent of CRs, citing their costly impact on national security.
“The harsh reality is that, as China and Russia build up their militaries, the U.S. will not be prepared to prevent warfare unless we make the right investments in our national defense,” Wicker said. “Every day we operate under a continuing resolution destroys our military readiness and deterrence and costs our service members hundreds of millions in lost capacity and overruns. This legislation fully funds our National Defense Authorization Act while cutting the President’s proposed increase in domestic spending by 50%. It represents the best possible opportunity to end this budget stalemate, avoid a CR, and get our military men and women the resources they need to win.”
The year-end funding agreement includes all of Senate Republicans’ top demands, forcing Democrats to leave out many liberal “poison pill” proposals and to abandon calls for parity in increases for defense and non-defense spending. The result is an agreement that boosts defense funding by 10% over the previous fiscal year, while cutting domestic spending relative to inflation. The final increase for domestic spending is 50% below the President’s budget request. The legislation also preserves longstanding federal agreements supported by conservatives, including a federal prohibition on funding abortion.
The CR that passed in September and is currently funding the federal government has already cost the Pentagon more than $12 billion in purchasing power relative to this year’s National Defense Authorization Act. That amount could fund two Arleigh-Burke destroyers and the Department of Defense’s entire R&D budget for a new generation of long-range weapons. A full-year CR would cost the military almost $80 billion in lost purchasing power. Even a short-term CR would cost the military as much as $207 million per day.
Top officials at the Department of Defense have repeatedly warned about the enormous damage that operating off an extended CR would do to military readiness. A continuing resolution “continues” funding the government at levels that were set in the year prior.
Continuing resolutions also delay the start of important construction and acquisition projects that require Congressional approval. This ban on “new starts” drives up costs for shipbuilders and other manufacturers that depend on carefully-timed purchases to minimize cost and keep their skilled workforce employed.
The year-end funding agreement would fully fund the FY2023 NDAA, which Wicker praised last week for superseding the President’s paltry budget request by $45 billion. Among other provisions, the FY23 NDAA and year-end funding agreement would boost service member pay by 4.6 percent and fund a major boost for Navy shipbuilding programming. Read more about the bill here. https://www.wicker.senate.gov/2022/12/wicker-praises-national-defense-bill-agreement
The year-end funding agreement also includes $600 million in emergency funding for water infrastructure projects in Mississippi’s capital city, which would be administered by a third-party manager appointed by the EPA. In November, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi approved a Proposed Stipulated Order assigning an Interim Third-Party Manager to oversee the City of Jackson’s water system, including any federal grants or loans received. This funding would be in addition to two other allocations for Jackson’s water and wastewater infrastructure, bringing the total appropriation for Jackson to $607.6 million for FY23. Beyond Jackson, the year-end funding bill also supports a range of Mississippi infrastructure priorities across the state, including water, wastewater, road, bridge, and internet projects, which Senator Wicker has repeatedly endorsed”.
“WICKER HAILS PASSAGE OF DEFENSE BILL
Legislation Will Boost Pay, Strengthen Forces, End Vaccine Mandate
DECEMBER 19, 2022
Our military service members can breathe a little easier now that the annual defense bill has finally passed. After months of unnecessary delays, the Senate on Thursday passed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) by a vote of 83-11, authorizing a full year of military funding. This year’s bill authorizes $858 billion for national security, sending a strong signal to our adversaries that we are serious about defending our country. As a member of the Armed Services Committee, I wrote provisions of the bill that will support our defense industrial base and help grow our Navy fleet, enabling us to push back on Chinese aggression. This bill will go a long way toward keeping us safe.
The final package is a win for our military, but it should never have taken so long to approve. The original bill passed out of committee in June, leaving months for congressional debate. Unfortunately, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer decided to shelve the bill for six months to focus on left-wing spending. Even last week, he insisted on diluting the defense bill with unrelated projects, such as an energy giveaway for West Virginia. This delay was reckless and irresponsible. Mr. Schumer’s stall tactics have created needless delays for military construction projects and kept our troops from receiving a pay raise on time. Thankfully, Republicans stood firm and prevailed. I hope the Democratic Leader takes a lesson from this ordeal and begins treating our military with the seriousness it deserves.
Putting Service Members First
Our service members will benefit substantially from this legislation. The bill includes a much-needed 4.6 percent pay raise for our troops, helping to offset some of the damage from inflation. It will also repeal the Biden Administration’s pointless COVID vaccine mandate, which has forced thousands of our best and brightest to leave the military prematurely. The Administration has continued to defend this mandate even as our military faces the worst manpower shortage in 50 years. I have urged the Pentagon to drop the mandate, and I voted for its repeal.
Conservatives also successfully blocked parts of the left’s social agenda. For the second year in a row, we successfully scrapped a provision that would have forced women to register for the draft – something I have long opposed. We also blocked a far-left attempt to reduce penalties for cocaine possession. In addition, I fought to include language clarifying that the military’s role is to win wars, not to advance a social agenda. I will continue to fight against the President’s woke liberal policies, which only weaken our military.
Achieving Peace Through Strength
With Russia and China growing more aggressive, we are now living in the most dangerous time since the height of the Cold War. It is vital that we maintain our military edge to prevent conflict. This year’s legislation will modernize our nuclear capabilities, which President Biden’s budget proposal would have weakened. It will also boost support for our allies who are on the front line against Chinese and Russian tyranny.
One of my top priorities was a provision requiring at least 31 new amphibious ships for the Navy, many of which will be built in Mississippi. I also secured major investments in our state’s military installations, including $10 million for Keesler Air Force Base and $20 million for the Army’s Engineer Research and Development Center in Vicksburg. Mississippi has a key role to play in maintaining U.S. military superiority. With this bill now passed, we are well positioned to keep our enemies at bay in 2023.”
US Senator Graham serves on the Judiciary, Appropriations, Budget, and Environment and Public Works Committees: Judiciary, Appropriations, Budget, Ranking Member, Environment and Public Works https://www.lgraham.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/committee-assignments
“Graham on End of Year Spending Bill
Dec 22 2022
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today made the following statement after voting in favor of the end of year spending bill.
“This bill is a big win for the American military. It gives a much-needed boost to the Department of Defense and a well-deserved pay raise to our men and women in uniform. A ten percent increase in defense spending will add real dollars to our defense budget. The legislation also contains vital aid to Ukraine to deal a decisive defeat to Putin in his war of aggression. I’m also pleased my amendment with Senator Whitehouse was adopted that allows the proceeds from confiscated property from Russian oligarchs to be sent to Ukraine to support their efforts to rebuild their country. This over time could be billions of dollars for Ukrainian war efforts.
“However, this legislation is far from perfect and the process that led us to this point needs to change. I look forward to working with the new Republican-controlled House of Representatives to come up with a better process for next year that produces a more fiscally-sound budget.” https://www.lgraham.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/2022/12/graham-on-end-of-year-spending-bill
“Kennedy votes against $1.7 trillion omnibus package
Dec 22 2022
WASHINGTON – Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) released the above statement after voting against the $1.7 trillion government appropriations package.
Key excerpts from the senator’s statement are below:
“Here’s the main reason I voted against the budget: Inflation. As I’ve said before, inflation is ravaging the American Dream. It’s a cancer on the American Dream, and we’re not going to get control of it until Congress stops spending so much money.”
“We’ve got to slow the rate of growth of spending and debt. Now, look, I’m not naive. There are many people here in Washington, not just on the Democratic side—there are many big-government Republicans as well—and their attitude is, ‘We can’t possibly spend enough money.’ If they ran out of money to spend and couldn’t borrow any more, they would think about taking out a reverse mortgage on Alaska to get the money. But there are enough Republicans on Capitol Hill for us to be able to slow the rate of growth and spending, and this bill didn’t do that.”
“The question becomes . . . What’s the best way to achieve the best budget? Do we sit down and do it now, or do we wait until we have a majority of Republicans in the House of Representatives? And I said all along, we should wait.”
“Here’s what it comes down to: Would you rather have Nancy Pelosi decide what the federal budget is going to be, or would you rather wait until he’s sworn in as Speaker of the House and have Kevin McCarthy? And that, to me, is a no brainer, and there was never any doubt in my mind that the prudent decision, in terms of controlling spending, was to wait for Kevin McCarthy [instead of] allowing Speaker Pelosi to make the decision.”
Kennedy has consistently fought the wasteful spending that has fueled inflation under President Biden’s administration. In addition to his vote today, he has voted against $5.6 trillion in other spending this Congress, including:
* H.R. 1319, the $1.9 trillion 2021 coronavirus package,
* H.R. 2471, the $1.5 trillion appropriations package,
* H.R. 3684, the $1.2 trillion mislabeled infrastructure package,
* H.R. 5376, the $740 billion spending bill that has aggravated inflation and
* H.R. 4346, the $240 billion semi-conductor bill.
Watch Kennedy’s full statement here. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hAE_Xhzh5xg”
If Putin invades Alaska, there won’t be anything to reverse mortgage. It is bizarre that he chose this example.
US Senator Kennedy is a fiscal conservative to his very bones, and he has previously supported Ukraine, including in ways that save money, rather than cost money.
“As Mr. Putin prepared to invade a sovereign democracy, the Biden administration continued pushing for more than $17 billion in International Monetary Fund allocations for Moscow… The IMF special drawing rights function as subsidies, since countries awarded these tokens can exchange them for hard currency like dollars and euros on demand without having to repay the principal. Immediately after the White House finalized these subsidies, Russia’s foreign reserves hit a new high. To further put that $17 billion in perspective, Mr. Biden asked Congress for only $10 billion in Ukraine aid after Russia’s violent invasion began leading every newscast. The White House’s most egregious move may be yet to come. The Biden administration purposefully structured the 2021 allocation as a down payment on another flood of special drawing rights this year, totaling $350 billion. Some Democrats asked Ms. Yellen in November to back a tranche of about $2 trillion. In either case, Treasury would again lay tens of billions of dollars at the feet of dictators and terror states. But more free money won’t beget better behavior.” https://www.kennedy.senate.gov/public/2022/3/no-more-imf-subsidies-for-dictators
The previous post was updated to reflect that the abolition of the Covid vaccine mandate is probably an “unfunded mandate” within the National Defense Authorization Act, so that the Covid vaccine mandate was probably abolished with the passage of the NDAA without passing the omnibus funding bill. This paragraph, in the previous post, was rewritten to reflect that: Apparently many members of the US Congress voted for the defense parts of authorization (NDAA) for the Omnibus appropriations bill but did not vote for the omnibus appropriations-funding of the NDAA. US Senator Blackburn brags that her National Defense Appropriations Act (NDAA) amendment got passed, but she voted against the Omnibus bill that allowed the funding of the National Defense Authorization Act. Thus, she was able to have her cake and eat it too. She lets the Republicans who voted for the Omnibus take the blame for this enormous bill (and hence for funding the NDAA), but then brags that she got her Amendment passed within the NDAA! The obvious problem is that the appropriations are all wrapped into this “omnibus”, i.e. “for all” inclusive, bill. https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/omnibus https://miningawareness.wordpress.com/2022/12/23/fy23-omnibus-appropriations-package-summary-covid-vaccine-military-mandate-abolished-in-the-bill/