Cornyn: We Must Pass Funding For Troops Without Pork, Strings Attached

In: All News   Posted 03/27/2007

WASHINGTON—U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, on Tuesday discussed the importance of providing troops the funding they need through the emergency supplemental bill, without pork-barrel projects or strings attached. The Senate is currently debating the Emergency War Supplemental bill, H.R. 1591. “This bill currently undermines the ability of our commanders on the ground to actually succeed in the goal that they volunteered to do because it sets artificial timelines and attempts to micromanage the fighting of the war on the ground,” Sen. Cornyn said. “It ultimately jeopardizes the ability to get funds to the troops to provide the necessary equipment, support and resources.” Last week, the U.S. House sent a version of the supplemental to the Senate for consideration that is loaded with billions of dollars in pork-barrel spending, much of it totally unrelated to national security. Cornyn noted that it is “unseemly” that members of Congress are “larding this appropriations bill with various pork projects.” “We need to get this legislation passed and passed soon so that our troops don’t have to guess whether the funding necessary to carry out their mission will be forthcoming,” Cornyn added. “We must work in a bipartisan manner to send the President a bill—without pork projects—that will give our fighting men and women the support they need and deserve.”The Senate is set to vote late Tuesday afternoon on an amendment striking a provision in the supplemental bill that undermines the efforts of our military in the war on terror. On a related note, Sen. Cornyn introduced the nominee to be Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs, S. Ward Casscells, M.D., of Texas, at his confirmation hearing in the Armed Services Committee on Tuesday. “We must continue working to remove obstacles, such as bureaucracy and red tape, which slow delivery of quality health care and support to our military personnel and veterans,” Sen. Cornyn said. “As a physician and as a soldier, Dr. Casscells has proven his commitment to not only improving health care for all Americans, but particularly improving it for the men and women serving in the Armed Forces.”Sen. Cornyn recently returned to Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio to speak with military men and women, veterans, and their families about military medicine. “The recently revealed problems at Walter Reed highlight the challenges in providing the best health care and transitional services to our wounded veterans,” Sen. Cornyn said. “Dr. Casscells is uniquely qualified to address these and many other health care challenges within the Department of Defense.” Casscells recently served as the vice president for biotechnology at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston. He has served with honor as a life-saving cardiologist, a flu pandemic expert, and a cutting-edge biotechnology executive. He is a teacher, a doctor and a champion of humanitarian relief, and he has spent countless hours tending to victims of hurricanes, tsunamis and terrorist acts. Sen. Cornyn serves on the Armed Services, Judiciary and Budget Committees. In addition, he is Vice Chairman of the Senate Republican Conference and the Senate Select Committee on Ethics. He serves as the top Republican on the Judiciary Committee’s Immigration, Border Security and Refugees subcommittee and the Armed Services Committee’s Airland subcommittee. He served previously as Texas Attorney General, Texas Supreme Court Justice, and Bexar County District Judge.