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Department of Defense Appropriations Act, 2012

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. FRELINGHUYSEN. Mr. Chairman, I rise in opposition to the amendment.

The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman from New Jersey is recognized for 5 minutes.

Mr. FRELINGHUYSEN. I would like to acknowledge the gentlewoman's hard work to clean up this part of the District of Columbia.

Our bill provides $276.5 million in the Environment Restoration Account, formerly the Used Defense Site Account. The Department has the authority to provide funding to those projects that it deems of the highest priority and that pose the greatest risk to environmental and human health.

If the Department believes that funding such a study as the gentlewoman from the District of Columbia suggests is important, the Department has the ability to do so. For these reasons, we do oppose the amendment.

Mr. DICKS. Will the gentleman yield?

Mr. FRELINGHUYSEN. I yield to the gentleman from Washington.

Mr. DICKS. I also appreciate the gentlewoman's amendment, and I will work with you on seeing if we can talk to the military to use environmental restoration funds if your amendment doesn't succeed.

Mr. FRELINGHUYSEN. Mr. Chairman, I yield back the balance of my time.

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

The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman from New Jersey is recognized for 5 minutes.

Mr. FRELINGHUYSEN. I rise to oppose the amendment and associate my remarks with those of the ranking member. We are talking about the dependents of the U.S. military. And when you visit military bases, some of these schools are deplorable. When we make a commitment to a young person in the military, and they are married and they have children, they ought to be able to go to schools on their military base that are of high standards.

I would be happy to yield to the gentleman if he wishes.

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

The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman from New Jersey is recognized for 5 minutes.

Mr. FRELINGHUYSEN. Mr. Chairman, I oppose the gentleman from Arizona's amendment, which would cut $3.6 billion from the Overseas Contingencies Operations budget.

The committee believes that the Army's fiscal year 2012 operation and maintenance requests for Overseas Contingencies Operations may be overstated due to unrealistic planning assumptions. However, due to the great deal of uncertainty of the justification for the Army's O&M budget request, the committee added an appropriations account, the Overseas Contingencies Operations Transfer Fund Account, and shifted $5 billion of funding from the Army into this account.

This account gives the Secretary of Defense flexibility to reprogram these funds for unforeseen requirements which emerged during 2012. For example, if redeployment from Afghanistan were to be accelerated--and some would suggest it should be--there will be a very significant increase in personnel and equipment transportation costs in fiscal year 2012.

Examples of requirements, which emerged during the year of budget execution in prior years, include funding for the MRAP vehicles, the mine resistant ambush protected vehicles, additional body armor that was needed, and other force protection things, joint, what we call joint urgent operational needs. And, of course, there are always spikes in fuel costs.

So for these and many other reasons, Mr. Chairman, I oppose the amendment and urge others to do so as well.

I yield back the balance of my time.

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Mr. FRELINGHUYSEN. I would be pleased to enter into a colloquy on behalf of Chairman Young with you, sir.

Mr. LIPINSKI. Thank you. As the chairman is aware and as you are aware, the Department of Defense has many cybersecurity goals and challenges. With the daily reports on cyberattacks and intrusions, I feel that Congress needs to express its concerns before there is a cyberevent that will impact and damage national security.

The Department of Defense is the world's largest target for cyberattacks. There are many aspects of cyberdefense infrastructure, but I would like to focus on one critical piece, the physical location of classified data. I'm very concerned that the Department of Defense will not weigh the physical storage of classified data sufficiently in their efforts to save money through the consolidation and modernization of the information technology infrastructure. In addition, I worry that unnecessarily storing classified data abroad could increase the risk that this information could be stolen, damaging national security and potentially harming our troops.

I would ask the chairman if he would be willing to work with me to ensure that the Department of Defense's future plans for data storage address these concerns and maintain the highest standards for protection for classified data. Keeping critical defense data under positive control and physically securing that data is just common sense for national security. Building and operating data centers here will create American jobs as well as make it easier to control access and make it harder for foreign operatives to steal things such as nuclear secrets, weapons systems designs, and battle plans.

I yield to the gentleman from New Jersey.

Mr. FRELINGHUYSEN. Chairman Young and the committee thank the gentleman from Illinois for bringing this matter to our attention, and we share his concern for the protection of all classified data. We believe the threat from cyberattacks is real and is growing. We commend the gentleman for his leadership in this area, and we will be happy to work with you and the ranking member to ensure that our troops and Nation maintain control of all classified data.

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

The Acting CHAIR (Ms. Foxx). The gentleman from New Jersey is recognized for 5 minutes.

Mr. FRELINGHUYSEN. First of all, the committee would like to thank the gentleman from Illinois for his service in the Air National Guard, and obviously his service in Congress. The gentleman from Illinois has made a compelling argument, and we are prepared to accept his amendment. However, we want to be clear that we will continue to study the issue as we support the continued advancement of the safety of all of our pilots. We just want to make that understood. It needs more study. We are in support of your amendment.

I yield back the balance of my time.

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