WASHINGTON, D.C.—At today’s House Leadership stakeout, House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) stressed the importance of the National Defense Authorization Act, which will ensure our troops have the tools they need to keep themselves and our country safe. He then discussed today’s vote on the Right to Try Act, a top priority for President Trump, that will allow more patients to seek potentially life-saving treatments. Finally, Whip Scalise touched on expected future passage of the farm bill, which includes key welfare reforms that will help more Americans gain the skills to fill the millions of open jobs.


Click here or on the image above to watch his remarks.

On the NDAA: 

“When you look at the NDAA bill that we’re going to bring later this week, we’re going to whip the bill today. There are going to be a lot of amendments we’ll debate. But ultimately, we’re going to pass a bill that gives our men and women in uniform the tools that they really need.

“And why is that so important? Just look at the last year. In the last year, by more than a three-to-one margin, we lost more men and women in uniform to training deaths than to combat deaths.

“Think about that. By more than a three-to-one margin.

“Because our men and women in uniform need and deserve the tools that they need to not only be able to properly train for the dangerous task ahead when they’re deployed, but they need to be able to train in a safe environment. They need to have planes that don’t fall out of the sky because they don’t have the tools they need.

“That’s how critically important it is to get this bill passed. Not the short-term continuing resolutions that don’t give our military the tools they need, but long-term certainty so that we can actually acquire the parts so that our men and women have the tools to actually go and train in a safe and efficient way.

“So that’s why it’s so important that we get this done, to stand behind our men and women in uniform who give us the freedoms that we enjoy.”

On the Trickett Wendler, Frank Mongiello, Jordan McLinn, and Matthew Bellina Right to Try Act:

“Another bill that we’re going to pass today is such an important bill, and that’s the Right to Try Act. It’s a bill that really cuts through some of the red tape and bureaucracy at the FDA, and allows people that are terminally ill to have real tools that they need, and real drugs and access to the things that they need to have a chance to save their life.

“This is an important bill that, once we pass it in the House, it’ll go straight to the president’s desk. President Trump has been pushing for this legislation to get to his desk. Today, we’re going to actually pass that bill so that it goes to President Trump’s desk and, ultimately, gets signed into law.”

On future consideration of the farm bill and unanimous Democrat opposition:

“And I do want to say one thing on the farm bill, because there’s been a lot of conversation about the farm bill and what happened and which Republicans didn’t vote for the bill.

“If you look at it, we’re going to pass this bill. But I think the most important point of last week, when you break down the votes, is that every single Democrat voted against that bill, not because they don’t support the farm components, but every Democrat in Congress voted against that bill because it actually put work requirements in place for welfare.”

“So think about this. At a time when we’ve got great economic growth because we passed this tax cut bill, we have the highest level of consumer confidence in people who believe they can go get a job and companies are looking for workers and at that same time there’s a policy that’s paying people not to work and we said, ‘shouldn’t there be a work requirement for able-bodied people?’ If you’re able to work, and there’s a job out there waiting for you, shouldn’t you be able to go get that job rather than being on a welfare program? That policy alone caused every single Democrat to oppose it.

“I think that’s something that Republicans, Democrats and Independents across the country alike would agree was a radical no vote. Because ultimately, it’s common sense to say, if there’s a job out there waiting for you, you should have that opportunity to go seek the American dream, not to continue to remain on a welfare program.”