Ross Votes to Rebuild and Bolster National Security with Funding Bill
WASHINGTON, D.C., May 3, 2017 – U.S. Rep. Dennis A. Ross (R-FL-15), Senior Deputy Majority Whip, made the following statement after voting to pass Legislation Making Further Appropriations for FY 2017, which funds the federal government for the remainder of the current fiscal year:
“The funding bill we passed today fulfills our promises to the American people to provide for a stronger, safer and more prosperous America. As I have stated before, I was not voted into office to shut down the government. I was voted to be a voice for the hardworking people of Florida’s 15th Congressional District of Florida, and this bill holds true to that promise.
“It increases defense funding by more than $25 billion to rebuild and modernize our military. This funding increase will help us defeat ISIS and strengthen our national security, and finally ends the cycle of holding military spending hostage. We live in a very unpredictable and dangerous time. Radical Islamic terrorists are in every area of the globe, seeking to carry out attacks on our people and our allies, and rogue nations like Iran and North Korea are threatening peace and stability. After recently speaking firsthand with members of the Florida National Guard stationed in Kuwait about the need for this critical funding and support, I am pleased to say we can finally make real, important strides to increase and improve our readiness, and provide our service members the tools and resources they need to confront the threats we face all around the world.
“Additionally, our selfless service members and their families sacrifice daily to defend our freedoms and protect our nation. This legislation fully funds the largest military pay raise in six years and reverses the Obama administration’s personnel cuts that are detrimental to our service members, their families and our national defense. We owe this to the brave men and women in uniform who put our lives before their own day-after-day.
“Through this bill, we have also increased critical border security funding by $1.5 billion. This represents the largest border security spending increase in more than a decade. Illegal drugs, gangs and crime are flooding our borders. This will provide our immigration and border security agents the means to enforce our laws, halt the influx of crime, and deport illegal immigrants.
“Additionally, this bill does not contain a single dime to fund Planned Parenthood and was endorsed by the National Right to Life organization, which has awarded me a 100 percent rating for my consistent pro-life voting record. Through the commonly known Hyde Amendment, this bill further maintains important provisions to protect the sanctity of life and to prevent taxpayer dollars from funding abortions.
“At the same time, we are investing in the most critical needs of our community, including assistance with disaster relief and support for our first responders. I am additionally proud to support this bill because it makes long-overdue reforms to our overreaching federal bureaucracy, gives parents more choices for their children’s education, and restricts new money for Obamacare and insurance company bailouts.
“Finally, this bill includes a much-needed increase in funding to combat citrus greening, which is decimating Florida’s citrus industry. Our citrus industry is not only one of our state’s greatest attributes, but also the livelihood to tens of thousands of Floridians, many of who live and work in District 15. I will continue fighting to ensure Florida citrus growers and producers have the funds necessary to remain the citrus capital of the world.
“We have a long road ahead of us to undo the damage of the past eight years, but together with President Trump, we are fulfilling our promises to the American people. I am excited to keep this momentum going so we can next repeal and replace Obamacare, reform our tax code, and improve our nation’s infrastructure.”