WASHINGTON- Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-TX), Ranking Member of the House Armed Services Committee made the following remarks at a hearing of the full committee entitled "Security Update on the Korean Peninsula":
"Thank You Mr. Chairman, and thank you for holding this hearing.
"I think it’s one of the defining characteristics of our time that we face so many diverse national security threats and challenges all at the same time. There is no question that a nation like North Korea may try to take advantage of what they perceive as us being distracted in the Middle East, or vice versa.
"And so, keeping our eye on this security challenge is very important. While the President is trying a number of initiatives, we have to be clear- eyed about the threat that emanates from North Korea- not only against us but our allies.
"I want to mention one other thing just briefly.
"I believe that every member of this committee takes pride in, not only our mission, but our ability to get things done. It was a close-run thing, but for the 58th straight year, we were able to pass and be signed into law, by an overwhelming margin, a defense authorization bill last December.
"I am concerned, however, that what is happening on the Floor this week threatens our ability to work together.
"In a hundred years- at least- no party has denied a Motion to Recommit on a significant issue on the floor.
"So, this week we are going to vote on life and death, war and peace issues with minimal debate, no amendments, and now- as I understand it – not even a Motion to Recommit, the last vestige of having an alternative view expressed.
"Again, it’s not happened in a hundred years.
"I think that ought to alarm all of us who care about this institution and care about our ability to work together on behalf of the country’s national security.
"I think we are going to hear a lot about that this week, and I wanted to put it on the radar screen of every member of this committee because, again, we’re the exception around here and it will be harder and harder for us to be insulated from the partisan waves that overwhelm us if something like this takes place.
"I yield back."