Rep. Roybal-Allard Statement on MilCon/VA Appropriations Bill
Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard (CA-40) issued the following statement about her vote today against the fiscal year 2017 Military Construction/Veterans Affairs Appropriations Bill:
“Today, House Republican leaders engaged in a shameful abuse of power during consideration of the fiscal year 2017 MilCon/VA Appropriations Bill.
“When they saw that Rep. Maloney’s amendment prohibiting anti-LGBT discrimination was about to be approved, GOP leaders held the vote open until they could force enough members to reverse their votes and support anti-LGBT bigotry. The minute they switched enough votes to defeat the amendment, they closed the vote. This was a brazen power grab in support of a bigoted cause. It was not just an affront to House procedure – it was an affront to all Americans and our principle of equal treatment for all.
“I was also concerned that the bill offered $1.2 billion less in total funding than President Obama requested for this bill in his budget. While this bill did fund the VA above the 2016 level, my commitment to veterans compelled me to take a stand in support of the President’s full funding request for our vets.
“Finally, I was disappointed that the bill prohibited military installations from providing needed temporary housing for unaccompanied migrant children. Many of these children have fled violence and terror in their home countries to seek refuge in America, and the Department of Health and Human Services needs the flexibility to house these children while they work to locate the children’s relatives. Unfortunately, the majority party decided that it was more appropriate to show intolerance of unaccompanied children than to treat them with basic decency.
“For these reasons and more, I could not in good conscience vote for the House version of the Military Construction/Veterans Affairs Appropriations Bill.”