In Support of Supplemental War Funding; Celebrating our Troops and their Families
By Senator Richard Shelby
With the holiday season upon us and Christmas quickly approaching, it is imperative that we take time to remember not only the brave men and women who serve overseas in defense of our nation, but also their loved ones here at home. So often we become absorbed in our own lives and forget about the sacrifices our service members and their families make each day.
As Congress finishes its legislative year, passage of supplemental war funding for our military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan - without any conditions or strings attached - is the most important way my colleagues in the Senate and I can support our men and women in uniform. While some claim that the Department of Defense can continue operating through February 2008 by reprogramming funding from other accounts, the Department has continually stated that such a maneuver would be extremely disruptive to operations both at home and abroad. The Department has even announced that without additional war funding, they would be forced to shut down Army bases, except for essential services, and furlough approximately 200,000 Department of Defense civilian employees.
This is the wrong step at the wrong time. We are making progress in Iraq and we should not deny our service members the ability to continue their positive efforts by limiting their funding. Furthermore, why would you force the Department of Defense to furlough hundreds of thousands of civilian personnel who provide critical support to our war fighters in combat zones? This is an imprudent and dangerous step that will not only set a bad precedent, but could potentially affect our combat operations in theater.