WASHINGTON, DC –Congressman Steny H. Hoyer (MD-5) released the following statement today after voting against House Republicans’ National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2016:
“With several world-class military installations located in Maryland, passage of a robust defense authorization bill is important to our state. For 34 years, I have been a strong supporter of bipartisan defense authorization bills passed by Congress, but I could not vote for the defense authorization bill passed today because it doubles down on the policy of sequestration and undermines our national security.
“I am proud to represent several military installations in the Fifth District including Patuxent River Naval Air Station, Indian Head Naval Surface Warfare Center, and Webster Field, which all play a critical role in our nation’s military readiness. Maryland’s military personnel and civilian defense employees deserve better than the massive budget gimmick in this bill.
“As a result of sequester, many of my constituents who work at Pax River, Indian Head, Webster Field, and other defense installations in Maryland – as well as the contracting community – experienced uncertainty and furloughs in 2013. These are hardworking Fifth District residents and this uncertainty should not be allowed to continue harming our defense communities.
“I will continue to urge Republicans to work with Democrats to replace the sequester in its entirety – both for defense and for domestic priorities such as education, research, and infrastructure. Once we do so, I’m confident both parties can work together on a bipartisan, fiscally responsible bill that strengthens national security and ensures our military has every tool they need to carry out their mission and keep Marylanders and all Americans safe.”