Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ), Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, released the following statement today on the government shutdown:
“The government shutdown is a direct result of the breakdown of cooperation in Congress. It has been clear from the beginning we would need a bipartisan budget agreement to lift the caps on defense spending and fully fund our military. Yet four months into the current fiscal year, we are nowhere near reaching a deal on long-term legislation to properly train, equip and prepare our forces in the face of rising threats around the world.
“As Republicans and Democrats run to cable news to point fingers and assign blame, the hard reality is that all of us share responsibility for this failure. For years, under both a Republican and Democrat-controlled Congress and White House, partisanship has taken precedent over national security. Political gamesmanship, an unwillingness to compromise, and a lack of resolve on both sides have led us to this point. Shamefully, no one will incur more harm than our brave men and women who have volunteered to fight and die for our freedom.
“Without long-term, stable and predictable funding for the military, our service members will pay the price. Troops will be denied scheduled training. Ship maintenance backlogs will grow. A depleted force will continue to shrink. And readiness will further suffer. At a time when more service members are dying in routine training accidents than in combat, asking the military to continue doing more with less is a disgraceful dereliction of our foremost duty in Congress to defend the nation.
“It’s time that both sides put politics aside, come to the table, and compromise on an agreement that will give our service members the training, equipment and resources they need to succeed.”