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Conference Report On H.R. 2647, National Defense Authorization Act For Fiscal Year 2010

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, D.C.

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I thank the gentleman from California and also salute the gentleman from Missouri.

Mr. Speaker, today could have been and should have been marked by bipartisan support for our troops, but instead has become something very different.

The sole purpose of the Department of Defense authorization legislation is to authorize funds to ensure a strong national defense, but today it is being used as a vehicle to force hate crimes legislation through the House, and it is with deep regret that I'm left with no choice but to oppose it.

This legislation and this vote is a political ploy and symbolic of everything that is wrong with Washington. Those who support the Federal criminalization of hate crimes should demand that it be removed from this legislation and be considered solely upon its own merit, not that of our national defense.

I believe that all Americans should be protected from violent crime and viewed equally under the law, and the truth of the matter is that all violent crimes are hateful. Thought crimes are no different.

Our message is simple: All Republicans support our troops, and the issue of hate crimes has nothing to do with our national defense.

One must really question the priorities of this majority. We must not, should not treat our service men and women as political pawns in their effort to force a social agenda upon the court system and the American people.

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