tv [untitled] CSPAN June 24, 2009 11:30pm-12:00am EDT
i'm particularly pleased we changed the matching fund requirement to 75-25 ratio between the department of defense and the states for the national guard youth challenge program. the bill protects child custody arrangements for deployed parents championed by mike turner of ohio. with all these good things in the bill, i must raise my disappointment that we were unable to debate my amendment dealing with concurrent receipt, the elimination of the survivor dependent plan, most sadly known as the widow's tax, the use of the misnamed reserve fund and the budget resolution. had the democratic resolution seemed eliminating these injustices as a priority, they could have allocated the small percentages necessary in the $15
trillion they provided for government spending 2010-2014. this is less than 1/6 of 1% of mandatory spending. for the second year in a row, we were unable to include my amendment to extend early retirement credit for service for national guardsmen and reservists back to september 11, 2001, retrospectively. the retirement credits since january 28, 2008 is a start, but as a 31-year veteran of the army national guard, more needs to be done. as a nation we owe more than our gratitude to the brave men and uniform and their families for the sacrifices they make to protect our freedom. with that, mr. speaker, h.r. 2647 is a strong defense authorization bill. i urge my colleagues to vote yes in support of h.r. 2647, i will submit my entire statement for the record.
congratulations to congressman john mchugh of new york for his selection to serve as secretary of the army. i yield back the balance of my time. . the chair: the gentleman from missouri. mr. skelton: mr. chairman, purr superintendent to section 4 on house resolution 572 and as chairman of the committee on armed services, i request that during further consideration of h.r. 2647 in the committee of the whole in following consideration of amendment number 1 which is printed in house report 111-182, the following amendments be considered. amendment number 3 printed in house report 111-182, amendment number 4 printed in house report 111-182 and block amendment number 1, amendment number 2
printed in house report 111-182, amendment number 9 printed in house report 111-182 as modified, amendment number 15 printed in house report 111-182 as modified, end block amendment number 2, amendment number 20 printed in house report 111-182 as modified. amendment number 24 printed in house report 111-182. amendment number 34 printed in house report 111-18 . amendment number 39 printed in house report 111-182. end block amendment number 3 and block amendment number 4. i make that request.
the chair: the gentleman is recognized. mr. skelton: mr. chairman, at this time i yield to the gentleman from ohio, mr. kucinich, for the purposes of a colloquy. the chair: the gentleman from ohio is recognized. mr. kucinich: i rise to invite the chairman to engage in a colloquy with me. mr. chairman, i wish to respectfully convey that i have three conserves with some of the practices employed by the virtual army experience, a high-tech traveling exhibit employed by the army as a -- as a recruiting tool. first, children as young as 13 years old are participating in the virtual army experience which paints an inaccurate picture of war by glorifying it while sanitizing the real effects. more than a mere video game, it includes interactions with real veterans who appear to be in
perfect health. it also requires that the user, regardless of age, share personal information as a condition of participation. i think that we can find common ground on these issues. specifically i think we can and i believe that we can agree that the virtual army experience video game must be revalidated to ensure that its age-appropriate rating is accurate in the context of how it's being employed. that the virtual army experience content should be reviewed to ensure it accurately reflects the consequences of war. and that there must be increased transparency with regard to how the personal information of the participants collected during participation will be used by
the army. mr. skelton: as the gentleman knows, i support the v.a.e. at the same time i know it can be improved. i would be happy, of course, to work with this gentleman to address the issues that you have so aptly raised. cusekice i want to thank the chairman for -- mr. kucinich: i want to thank the chairman for working with me on this. thank you, mr. chairman. i yield back. the chair: the gentleman from california. mr. mckeon: mr. chairman, i yield at this time to the gentleman from ohio, mr. turner, ranking member on strategic forces subcommittee, three minutes. the chair: the gentleman from ohio is recognized for three minutes. mr. turner: thank you, mr. speaker. i want to thank and congratulate chairman skelton, ranking member mckeon, its predecessor, john mchugh, who has been nominated as secretary of the army, and lend my support for the fiscal year 2010 national defense
authorization act. i'd also like to thank mrs. tauscher, chairwoman of the strategic forces subcommittee. she has provided a strong and thoughtful voice on national security issues. i wish the very best in her new position as undersecretary of state for arms control and international security. this bill contains sound, bipartisan provisions that provide key capabilities to our war fighters, strengthens our nation's strategic forces and sustains the intellectual capital supporting our national security infrastructure. the national nuclear security administration is provided with the flexibility necessary to increase the long-term reliability, safety, security of our nuclear weapons stockpile. i was disappointed, however, that the bill implements the administration's missile defense cut of $1.2 billion. given north korea's widely publicized nuclear missile tests and missile launches, not to mention iran's recent missile
tests, cuts in missile defense challenge common sense. i cannot reconcile while the administration has decided to decrease missile defense funding while daily news reports substantiated by our own intelligence agencies articulate an increasing missile threat. despite the current threat posed by north korea, including reports of a potential i.c.b. -- icbm launch, the committee rejected amendments that were offered by myself and my colleagues to restore missile defense funds. this included providing a modest amount of funds to complete a partially constructed missile interceptor field in alaska designed it to protect the u.s. homeland. ironically, the bill includes $80 million for dismantling north korea's missile program. i don't think anyone actually believes that kim jong-il is going to allow the obama administration to enter north korea and dismantle its nuclear weapons program.
unfortunately, the administration's $1.2 billion cut has set up false choices between protection of the united states homeland and protection of our forward deployed troops and allies. both are necessary and both good have been adequately funded without such deep cuts. i am, however, pleased this bill included key provisions of the bipartisan nato first bill that my colleague, mr. marshall, and i introduced. i want to thank the chair opinion for his efforts, including these provisions into this bill. and lastly i would like to thank jane harman and joe wilson and susan davis for their support and assistance as this bill includes strong provisions to enhance sexual assault protections for women in uniform. also, with the chairman's support, this bill includes provisions that would protect the custody rights of our men and women who are serving unbelievably courts across this country have denied their men and women their custody rights as a result of their absence in serving their country.
secretary gate have committed to work with this committee and i look forward to his work on this. i would like to encourage the support for the 2010 national defense authorization act and yield back my time. the chair: the gentleman from missouri. mr. skelton: mr. chairman, may i inquire as to the time remaining for each side, please. the chair: the gentleman from missouri has 4 1/2 minutes remaining. the gentleman from california has 6 1/2 minutes remaining. the gentleman from missouri. mr. skelton: at this time i yield to the gentleman from florida, mr. klein, for the purpose of a colloquy. the chair: the gentleman from florida is recognized. mr. klein: thank you, mr. speaker. i thank the gentleman and the chairman for his leadership and the opportunity to engage in a brief colloquy. i rise today to ask for your help in improving the care of our wounded warriors. later this weekley introduce the wounded warrior to establish a program for organizations to provide wounded warriors and
disabled veterans with service animals like physical therapy dogs and guide dogs. there are several organizations around the country that train animals to work with disabled soldiers and veterans. these organizations, like many not for profit organizations, are struggling at this it moment to collect necessary resources in these difficult economic time. s. the difference between these organizations and others is that they're giving our soldiers and veterans a service that they have earned. i applaud their private fundraising an at the same time i realize that this is our responsibility as well. mr. chairman, this legislation will allow the government to keep its promise to america's disabled soldiers and veterans and allow them excellent quality of life after their service. thanks to modern medicine, more and more of our brave men and women are able to sustain wounds that may have been fatal in the past. this is a blessing but it also requires new tools to allow them to return to a civilian working life.
i have seen these programs in action. i have witnessed the growth of these veterans and wounded soldiers after working with a guide dog or an animal that can assist them with physical therapy and lifetime care and support. these programs succeed and i believe that every american who puts on a uniform and risks their life for our country should have the full support of this congress and this mission. mr. skelton: i certainly thank the gentleman from florida, mr. klein, for bringing this issue to the floor. as the gentleman knows, the bill under consideration calls for a report on military working dogs. mr. klein's legislation would surely take the next step with a grant for therapy dogs for our disabled soldiers and veterans. i look forward to working with the gentleman from florida to ensure that congress stands behind our soldiers as well as our veterans. mr. klein: i thank the chairman of the armed services committee and i urge my colleagues to support h.r. 2647.
the chair: the gentleman from missouri reserves his time. the gentleman from california. mr. mckeon: mr. chairman, i yield now to the gentleman from virginia, mr. wittman, the ranking -- ranking member on the oversight and investigation subcommittee, two minutes. the chair: the gentleman from virginia is recognized twor two minutes. mr. wittman: thank you, mr. chairman. i rise in strong support of the national defense authorization act for fiscal year 2010. and i'd like to take a moment to highlight some important aspects of the bill. the members and the staff of the house armed services committee are dedicated to supporting our men and women in uniform and this bill truly reflects our undying commitment to those service members and i'm pleased to see this bill makes progress toward strengthening our naval power and projection on the high seas. we must continue to develop the industrial base and promote ship building to establish a floor, not a ceiling, of 313 ships in our navy. our nation's security and
forward presence also depends on the timely delivery and deployment of our various naval platforms. therefore, i urge my colleagues to support the provisions that provide for the construction of a new virginia class submarine, research and development funds for the s.s.b. and ohio class replacement submarine and advanced procurement for the new ford class carrier. although this bill requires a temporary waiver for the number of carrier to dip below 11, i have deep reservations about this provision and firmly believe maintaining 11 aircraft carriers is essential to maintaining our long-term naval superiority. and while i support this bill, i do have some concerns about the administration's overall direction for our military and the decisionmaking process that weekend into -- went into the budget. it's imperative that we preserve the integrity of congressional oversight through appropriate and efficient transparency. without a 30-year ship building plan and a 30-year military
aviation plan, we are denied a full understanding of the administration's perspective of what the defense of our nation interests requires. the strategic risk we accept in this defense authorization bill is equally as important as the dollar figure. the american people rightfully expect that the members of this congress are fully you aware of the strategic risk associated with the president's budget request. as we consider strategic threats facing our country today, i urge my colleagues to strongly support a bipartisan amendment that would be offered by mr. franks. this amendment will rightfully restore funding for the missile defense agency by $1.2 billion. north korea continues to test its missile capabilities while iran pursuing a nuclear weapon program. therefore it is imperative that we provide full funding to you are nation's most crucial missile defense programs. keeping americans safe from terrorists at home is equally important. the american people have spoken
and made it very clear that they do not want to -- detainees from guantanamo brought to the united states. i believe this issue should be openly debated and given a vote within the full house. again, i strongly support this bill and look forward to improving some of the provisions on the floor tomorrow and i'd like to thank the ranking member, mckeon, chairman skelton and also mr. mchugh for his service and thank you, mr. chairman, i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman from missouri. . mr. skelton: iryield one minute to ms. jackson lee. the chair: the gentlelady is recognized for one minute. ms. jackson lee: i rise to raise three points and i would like to refresh the memory of the chairman as he well knows over a period of congressional terms, i brought to his attention the inability of families to publicly acknowledge their loved ones who lost their life in battle coming back from a
foreign land as they came into dover air force base. i want to recognize the fact that this new administration, even though we had a number of legislative initiatives in previous authorization bills have now allowed families to be able to have their families publicly acknowledged as they have come in from losing their life on a foreign field. that is an important note and i hope families will recognize that the fallen are respected the moment they hit the soil of the united states. i also wish to make note of the increased coverage of tricare, but i would like to work with the committee as we go forward to expand the number of facilities which our active duty soldiers and others can access, in particular, i would like to see an emphasis on inner city facilities that would allow or have tricare accreditation. i would like to make light of the study that asks for a strategic response in
afghanistan and iraq. as someone who has continuously expressed her opposition to the war in iraq, i want to keep the pressure on that we begin to downsize and we have a strategy to do it safely. and as it relates to afghanistan, to make sure we have a strategy to ensure that our troopsr in fact, fighting a battle we can win. we want peace and want freedom, but we want to make sure he we can bring our troops home. i thank the chairman and ranking member. and i appreciate their leadership on this legislation. i yield back. the chair: the gentleman from california. mr. mckeon: mr. chairman, i now yield to the the gentleman from utah, the one that led us in that great debate on the f-22 that saved the day, for the purpose of unanimous consent. the chair: the gentleman from utah is recognized mr. bishop: thank the chairman and ranking member and the wonderful bipartisan bill.
i ask unanimous consent to extend my remarks and submit a prepared statement for the record. the chair: without objection, so ordered. the gentleman from california. mr. mckeon: i yield now to the the gentleman from ohio, mr. latta, one minute. the chair: the gentleman from ohio is recognized for one minute. mr. latta: i rise in support of the tricare continuity of coverage for national guard and reserve families act of 2009, which i'm a co-sponsor as amended into the national defense authorization act. members of our national guard and reserves are eligible for tricare health insurance during their service and after the age of 60, but not during the time in between. time in between they retire until the age of 60 is referred to as the gay area. they are reserve component retirees under the age of 60 with more than 20 years of faithful service who have qualified retirement at age 60.
the legislation fills in that gray area to ensure that these men and women have health care coverage and provides access to the care they deserve. this legislation is important because currently around 50% of those serving in iraq and afghanistan are reservists and national guard. and this option for purchasing tricare standard will serve as an incentive for those guardsmen and reservists to continue to serve. i thank the armed services committee chairman and ranking member for including this important legislation in the national defense authorization act for fiscal year 2010. and i yield back. thank you very much. the chair: the gentleman from missouri. rereserves his time. the gentleman from california. mr. mckeon: i yield such time as he may consume to mr. austria from ohio for the purpose of a col key. the chair: the gentleman is recognized. mr. austria: i appreciate you
and chairman skelton for bringing this important bill to the floor. it does provide much needed -- what we need for national security and for our men and women who are serving so selflessly in our nation's defense and i thank you both for your hard work on this bill. in reading the report and language that accompanies the bill regarding insourcing new and contracted out functions and i wanted to bring to your attention that small business owners have raised in regard to this issue. small business owners dealing in defense contracting are losing employees to the federal government. this practice apparently is becoming a trend in the defense contracting community. a trend that i find deeply troubling. mr. mckeon: will the gentleman yield? mr. austria: i yield back. mr. mckeon: i thank the gentleman for raising this issue. you are correct.
the defense department is reshaping its work force by reducing the number of service support contractors and replacing them with government employees. we have been told this effort will hire over 13,000 government civilians to replace support contractors at a proposed savings of $900 million. mr. austria: gentleman will yield back? i appreciate it and let me say we should not be growing government during this economic crisis. in my opinion, it's already too big. but we should not be increasing the federal government at the expense of small businesses, and in this particular case, small defense contractors. it's not fair. it's not in the best interest of the taxpayer. mr. mckeon: would the gentleman yield? mr. austria: i would be happy to yield. mr. mckeon: we included report language that stresses our ability that these insourcing initiatives should not be in budget reductions. the insourcing initiatives
should give appropriate considerations to impacts on the contractor work force. the cost savings will never be realized. that said, i would be happy to work with the gentleman from ohio and other interested parties as the bill moves forward to revisit the important issue of how to balance the work force, military, civilian employee and contract. mr. austria: i look forward to continue to work with you on this very important issue. and i yield back the balance of my time. mr. mckeon: mr. chairman, how much time do we have remaining? the chair: the gentleman from california has one minute remaining and the gentleman from missouri has 1 1/2 minutes remaining. mr. mckeon: we have had a lot of good input tonight on the bill. i ask that all of our members tomorrow support the bill. in the morning, we'll move into the amendment process. the chairman and his staff have done a tremendous job of helping
put the 60-plus amendments that were proved out of the rules committee into a process i think will help us in moving forward in an expeditious manner in the morning. i look forward to that. i thank the chairman for his graciousness and leadership in moving the bill at this point. and with that, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from missouri. mr. skelton: mr. chairman, let me first express my gratitude and admiration to the new ranking member of the armed services committee, mr. mckeon. he hit the ground running, a veteran of our committee and his first baptism of fire was in the markup of the some 17 hours of this bill in committee. and we thank him for his leadership and for his diligence in making this a success. tomorrow under the rule, mr.
chairman, we will consider the various amendments, four groups of en bloc amendments and several by themselves, according to the rule that's been set forth and the time limits set thereon. this is an important piece of legislation. it deals with the security of our country, the security of our citizens. it deals with those young men, young women in uniform wherever they may be. it's our job to do our best to support them and this bill does just that. i thank the members of the committee on both sides of the aisle. they have been magnificent to work with. and with that, i express appreciation to our wonderful staff. i yield back. the chair: the gentleman's time
has expired. all time for general debate has expired. for what purpose does the gentleman from missouri rise? mr. skelton: mr. chairman, i move that we do now rise. the chair: the question is on the motion to rise. those in favor say aye.. those opposed, no. the ayes have it. the committee will rise. the speaker pro tempore: mr. chairman. the chair: the committee of the whole house on the state of the union has had under consideration h.r. 2647 and asks me to report that they have come to no resolution thereon. the speaker pro tempore: the chairman of the committee of the whole house on the state of the union reports that the committee has had under consideration h.r. 2647 and has come to no
resolution thereon. the chair lays before the house the following enrolled bills. the clerk: h.r. 1777, an act to make technical corrections to the higher education act of 1965 and for other purposes. >> i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. >> yesterday evening, the highly respected radio and twation broadcasting pine near john
callow way died. after more than 30 years with public television, his extraordinary dedication to honest journalism that served the people will be greatly missed. john could be credited with many great firsts in the world of televised broadcasting. he was a leader in cbs news station and hosted wttw chicago's first evening news analysis. a former award winner had said that he hoped his shows would allow the viewers to see the fabric and soul of the city. ladies and gentlemen, let me tell you, in my city, the fabric and soul is often both extraordinary and tragic. for me and many people of chicago the air waves will feel empty without the chicago 11 show and weekend review. he will be remembered not only by his loving wife sandra and
daughters, but by the citizens of chicago and the american people. thank you, mr. speaker. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from illinois rise? mr. quigley: i ask unanimous consent that today following legislative business and any special orders heretofore entered into, the following members may be permitted to address the house for five minutes to revise and extend their remarks and include extraneous material. the following, ms. woolsey from california. mr. peters from michigan. mr. george miller from california. ms. kaptur from ohio. mr. inslee from washington. mr. spratt from south carolina. the speaker pro tempore: there's no objection. the chair recognizes the gentleman from illinois for a motion. mr. quigley: mr. speaker, i move now that the h d