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Public Statements

Department of Defense Appropriations Act, 2006

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC


DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE APPROPRIATIONS ACT, 2006. -- (House of Representatives - June 20, 2005)

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AMENDMENT OFFERED BY MR. OBEY

Mr. OBEY. Mr. Chairman, I offer an amendment.

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Mr. FRELINGHUYSEN. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the last word.

Mr. Chairman, as we conclude debate, all of us want to thank again Chairman Young and Ranking Member MURTHA for their leadership, putting together this bipartisan bill, and especially the good men and women behind them, both of the minority party and the majority party who helped to put this appropriations bill together.

Mr. Chairman, as we consider this important legislation, we must be mindful that our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, all volunteers, I may add, are on the battlefield as we speak, brave men and women fighting a new kind of war where everyone literally is on the front line.

As we all know, the Army and Marines are carrying the brunt of the battle in Iraq and Afghanistan, with an unprecedented level of partnership by our Guard and Reserve components. And the young men and women from the Air Force and Navy stand with them, as do we.

Their service and dedication on the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan are making our Nation safer from terrorists who seek to do us harm and other freedom-loving nations. Make no mistake, our success in Iraq is hugely important. And our enemies in Iraq are thinking enemies. They are adaptable and would like nothing better for us to step back, or as some say, retreat, or to set arbitrary dates for withdrawal and then come back after our departure to reinstall a new Saddam Hussein or a regime even more oppressive, fanatical or more horrendous and more dangerous than the last.

We should never forget that the soldiers we support through this appropriations have freed nearly 50 million people in Iraq and Afghanistan from killer regimes, where protests and dissent were answered by killing fields and genocide, where women were denied basic freedoms: Education, health and the right to vote.

But, of course, the loss of any young soldier from our ranks is heartbreaking. And so is the death of innocent civilians killed by roadside bombs, but we are dealing with Saddam loyalists, jihadists, imported terrorists and domestic criminals who play by no rules. And do not hesitate to bomb Iraqi weddings, funerals, gatherings of school children, and behead innocent civilians as well as kill our soldiers.

Since we are engaged in a global war on terrorism with Iraq and Afghanistan being countries of conflict and violence, our soldiers and Marines need every possible advantage as this appropriations bill allows. This legislation provides our fighting men and women with the resources they need to be more deployable, more agile, more flexible, more interoperable and more lethal in the execution of their mission.

It provides for better training, better equipment, better weapons. Of course, our bill supports the troops by providing a pay increase, enhanced life insurance coverage, and housing allowances. And this bill also provides funding for new equipment, additional trucks, radios, electronic jammers, uparmored HUMVEES, attack helicopters, warships and fighter aircraft.

Most important, this bill provides an additional $1.2 billion for personnel protection items, such as body armor. As troops rotate in and out of the theater, they need the latest equipment and weapons systems. Mr. Chairman, I also welcome increased funding for research and development. Our bill exceeds the President's budget by $2.3 billion, so we can speed important new technology from the drawing board to the laboratory, to the test bed into the arsenal of our warfighter.

My colleagues, the global war on terrorism will not be short, it will require deep and enduring commitment. As we look down the road we face many potential and real threats. We cannot know what hostile forces will face us next year, much less 5 years from now. So we must take care to ensure that we have laid the proper foundation for a secure national defense. These investments now and these appropriations will pay off in more capability in the future. They deserve to be supported.

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