McCain calls for passage of 2014 National Defense Fiscal Budget

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) announced on December 20 that the Fiscal Year 2014 National Defense Authorization Act was passed in the Senate and asked President Barack Obama to sign it promptly.

"I am pleased that the Senate has finally passed the Fiscal Year 2014 National Defense Authorization Act and urge President Obama to sign this important legislation into law as soon as possible," McCain said.

McCain expressed his frustration with the Senate for failing to fulfill its responsibility to the U.S. military personnel by not delivering a fiscal budget on time. McCain said the Senate should be embarrassed for having failed its servicemen by delivering a budget three months after the beginning of the fiscal year.

"The current fiscal year began three months ago, and the NDAA is but the first - and likely only - authorization bill that will be passed this year," McCain said. "That record alone demonstrates an abrogation of our Congressional responsibilities. Moreover, the Senate has failed to pass any new appropriations bills and is instead relying on a continuing appropriations resolution. This collective abrogation of responsibility has caused budgetary chaos in the rest of government, especially at the Department of Defense, and wasted untold billions of tax dollars. The disservice we, as a result, have visited on our men and women in uniform - and our taxpaying constituents - when we fail to authorize and appropriate in a timely way, is unacceptable and should serve as a source of shame and embarrassment."

In an effort to make up for the mistake, McCain suggested that the NDAA be passed into law as soon as possible. He also commended Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin (D-Mich.) and Ranking Member Jim Inhofe (R. Okla.) on their diligence to create a sound fiscal budget. McCain also highlighted some of the policies of the bill, which include improvements in programs on sexual assault, terrorist detaining, salary bonuses, security assistance, funding for the destruction of chemical weapons in Syria, support for the Forest Service and increased regulations regarding the funding of Navy ships.