December 09, 2016

Wyden Statement on End-of-Year Government Funding Bill

Announces ‘No’ Vote After Congressional Leaders Fail to Include Protections for Vulnerable Americans and Families of Mine Workers

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today voted against the end-of-year, must-pass bill to fund the government because the bill leaves out essential reforms for vulnerable children in foster care and protections for the families of mine workers.

“Republican leaders touted this as a clean extension of noncontroversial, already agreed-upon policies. Instead, Republicans are skipping town without extending tax policies that protect middle class homeowners and jobs and without reauthorizing aid for rural timber counties. They also leave behind some of the most vulnerable among us – children in foster care and certainty for the widows of miners and their families who would have been helped by widely supported bipartisan bills.

“Furthermore, I strongly oppose the exemption to allow recently retired military officers to serve as Secretary of Defense. Congress has only exempted one Secretary of Defense from the legal requirement for military officers to spend time out of uniform.  That one exemption happened in 1950, and it was controversial then too. That exemption explicitly recommended that no further exemptions should be given.  The fact is, a Congress full of World War II veterans recognized the importance of having a civilian lead the Pentagon, and I urge my colleagues to heed their example.”