South Carolina Rep. Joe Wilson is suggesting members of Congress should put off their Christmas farewells until after they’ve taken care of the primary reason they’re here in the first place: Funding national defense.
Wilson, a Republican, is a member of the House Armed Services Committee, and on Thursday asked Speaker of the House Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wisc., “not to adjourn the House before passing” the National Defense Authorization Act for the fiscal year of 2017, according to a senior staffer.
The House passed a version of the bill earlier this year. The task now is to reconcile their bill with the one passed by the U.S. Senate. There is talk that House and Senate leaders believe they are “just days” away from reaching an agreement.
The letter Wilson is passing around has the support of the committee’s subcommittee chairs.
“The primary function of government is to provide for the common defense, and for 54 consecutive years, Congress has successfully acted to support the service members currently protecting American families around the world,” it reads, in part. The House has asked for a topline of $610 billion for all defense budgets.
The 2016 version of the act wasn’t approved until after members of Congress returned from the Christmas break. This year is a bit different, as a new Congress that is still dominated by Republicans, but has a few more Democrats, is set to be seated in January.