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Reimbursing Members Of United States Armed Forces For Certain Transportation Expenses

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Location: Washington, DC


REIMBURSING MEMBERS OF UNITED STATES ARMED FORCES FOR CERTAIN TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES -- (House of Representatives - March 30, 2004)

Mr. BRADLEY of New Hampshire. Mr. Speaker, I move to suspend the rules and pass the Senate bill (S. 2057) to require the Secretary of Defense to reimburse members of the United States Armed Forces for certain transportation expenses incurred by the members in connection with leave under the Central Command Rest and Recuperation Leave Program before the program was expanded to include domestic travel.

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Mr. BRADLEY of New Hampshire. Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent that all Members may have 5 legislative days within which to revise and extend their remarks on S. 2057.

The SPEAKER pro tempore. Is there objection to the request of the gentleman from New Hampshire?

There was no objection.

Mr. BRADLEY of New Hampshire. Mr. Speaker, I yield such time as he may consume to the gentleman from
Arkansas (Mr. Snyder).

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Mr. BRADLEY of New Hampshire. Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the gentleman from Minnesota (Mr. Ramstad).

Mr. BRADLEY of New Hampshire. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself 3 minutes.

Mr. Speaker, I had the opportunity in late October and early November to travel to Iraq to visit our troops and to assess the rebuilding of that troubled nation. The first stop, Mr. Speaker, that we made was in Kuwait in the desert at one of the camps, and we saw the actual R&R facility where members of our military were being processed. We had the chance to talk firsthand to people that were about to leave the theater and go home and, boy, let me tell my colleagues, they were very excited, Mr. Speaker, to be able to come home and visit loved ones. We know this was during the time when they had to pay their own way; but, nevertheless, they were pleased to be able to do it.

Then we traveled in and out of Baghdad with members coming on some of the C-130 transport planes. Once again, the same thing, they were very anxious to be able to come home for a couple of weeks and to be able to reunite with their families.

So, Mr. Speaker, I salute our military for authorizing this. Obviously, this legislation corrects an inequity, where those members of our military who wanted to travel home prior to December 19 are now going to be reimbursed for their expenses. Mr. Speaker, as indicated by the previous speaker, the gentleman from Kansas (Mr. Moore), this was done in a bipartisan fashion. I salute not only the gentleman from California (Chairman Hunter), the gentleman from California (Chairman Lewis), but certainly the gentleman from Arkansas (Mr. Snyder), the gentleman from Kansas (Mr. Moore), and the gentleman from Connecticut (Mr. Simmons) for their hard work on this very important piece of legislation that will deal with all of our troops fairly and will encourage this type of R&R in the future, which is so important to our troops in so many far-flung areas of the world.

Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.

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Mr. BRADLEY of New Hampshire. Mr. Speaker, I have no further speakers, so I yield back the balance of my time.

The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. Whitfield). The question is on the motion offered by the gentleman from New Hampshire (Mr. Bradley) that the House suspend the rules and pass the Senate bill, S. 2057.

The question was taken.

The SPEAKER pro tempore. In the opinion of the Chair, two-thirds of those present have voted in the affirmative.

Mr. BRADLEY of New Hampshire. Mr. Speaker, on that I demand the yeas and nays.

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