WASHINGTON - House Republican Whip Roy Blunt (Mo.) released the following statement this afternoon urging Democratic leaders to bring to the House a clean, straightforward funding package for our troops:
"This Congress has no greater responsibility than to ensure the men and women who have stepped forward to safeguard our freedoms have what they need to be secure. But that's a responsibility Democrats formally abdicated this afternoon, as they adjourned the House for spring recess without completing the task of fully funding our troops in the field.
"The president made clear today that nothing short of a clean emergency supplemental will be signed into law -- a bill unencumbered by strings, and undistracted by pork. Congress now has a choice to either craft a clean bill for our soldiers in harm's way, or leave our troops out on the line while Democratic leaders look for ways to finesse the politics to their advantage.
"This supplemental bill was supposed to be an 'emergency' appropriation of funds for our troops. But more than a month later, our armed forces continue to wait for a bill worthy of their dedicated service and continued sacrifice. It's my hope they won't have to wait much longer, and my expectation that the legislation we ultimately deliver will provide them the tools they need to be successful."
Blunt met with President Bush and Republican leaders at the White House earlier today to discuss the importance of Congress passing a straightforward funding package for our troops. Unable to overturn the president's veto, Democrats will now have to reintroduce the emergency legislation in the House.