Tennessee Congressman Scott DesJarlais, M.D., a member of the House Armed Services Committee, early today voted against the 2020 National Defense Authorization Act, citing major flaws in the Democrat-produced legislation. Rep. DesJarlais (TN-04), who has steered nuclear security and other improvements in past authorizations, issued the following statement:
"This legislation would reverse the gains we have made to rebuild the U.S. military after years of neglect. It cuts nuclear and missile defense, hindering modernization programs to secure our country against advanced adversaries, and cuts defense overall, because of some misguided notion that our country's strength is the source of all the world's problems. No, the United States is a force for good, our allies are depending on us, and weakness invites aggression, as we saw during the prior administration, when China, Russia, Iran and ISIS expanded their influence across the globe.
"Provisions preventing the military from protecting our southern border reflect the same 'Blame America First' mentality. The United States is defined by our borders, and we have a military to defend them, not just faraway places. The President's authority to declare an emergency is clear, and so is the crisis at the border, which we must address immediately, but members of the majority seem to believe their open-borders agenda is more important than our country's sovereignty and security. I support a strong defense that includes strong borders."