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Linking Military Spending to Controversial Political Issues is a Mistake, Cole Says

October 8, 2009
Press Release

WASHINGTON - U.S. Congressman Tom Cole (OK-04) gave the following statement regarding H.R. 2647, the National Defense Authorization Act for FY2010, a bill that sets annual defense policy and authorizes the Department of Defense budget.  This bill also contains controversial language related to so-called hate crimes legislation.

"I have a long and consistent record of supporting America's Armed Forces. In fact, just this past June I voted for a clean version of the National Defense Authorization Act.  But I find it unconscionable that the legislation would come out of a conference committee with completely unrelated - and extremely controversial - language attached to it."

"If the Majority party wants to bring hate crimes legislation to the floor for a vote, they should bring it as a stand alone bill without attaching it to legislation regarding our national defense.  The Democrat leaders know that a vast majority of Republican members support America's Armed Forces, so this is nothing more than an effort to blackmail the Republicans into supporting their far left social agenda.  Such actions divide this House and our country on an issue which should unite us - the defense of the United States." 

 "Unfortunately this is not the first time Democrats have employed this deplorable tactic.  Earlier this year, House Democrats chose to tie supplemental war funding to a global bailout for the International Monetary Fund.  That move resulted in almost unanimous Republican opposition to the bill.  Now Democrats are at it again.  Congressional Democrats need to understand that the U.S. government has no higher priority than the security of our nation.  We must stop playing these shameful partisan games on issues of grave importance to the nation and the men and women who defend it."