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Amending the Department of Agriculture Organic Act of 1944 to Ensure that Dependents of Employees of the Forest Service Stationed in Puerto Rico...

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Location: Washington, DC


AMENDING THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE ORGANIC ACT OF 1944 TO ENSURE THAT DEPENDENTS OF EMPLOYEES OF THE FOREST SERVICE STATIONED IN PUERTO RICO RECEIVE HIGH-QUALITY ELEMENTARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION -- (House of Representatives - October 05, 2004)

Mr. GOODLATTE. Mr. Speaker, I move to suspend the rules and pass the bill (H.R. 5042) to amend the Department of Agriculture Organic Act of 1944 to ensure that the dependents of employees of the Forest Service stationed in Puerto Rico receive a high-quality elementary and secondary education.

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Mr. GOODLATTE. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of H.R. 5042, introduced by the gentleman from Puerto Rico (Mr. Acevedo-Vilá).

Mr. Speaker, H.R. 5042 amends the Department's Organic Act to allow the Secretary of Agriculture to cover tuition and transportation costs for dependents of Forest Service employees in Puerto Rico.

When the U.S. Naval Base at Roosevelt Roads closed its school, several Forest Service employees lost the only nearby English language school available to their children. H.R. 5042 would allow the Department of Agriculture to reimburse tuition and transportation costs for these employees' dependents. Currently, several other Federal agencies, including the FAA, Department of Justice, and the Coast Guard, have made use of this authority for their employees assigned to Puerto Rico.

The bill should have minimal fiscal impact, as USDA was reimbursing the Department of Defense for the use of their school at the same rate authorized in this bill.

I urge my colleagues to support this legislation.

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

(BREAK IN TRANSCRIPT)

Mr. GOODLATTE. Mr. Speaker, I yield back the balance of my time.

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