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Department of Defense Program Guidance Modification Relating to Post-Deployment/Mobilization Respite Absence Administrative Absence Days

Floor Speech

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Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. PAULSEN. I thank the gentleman for yielding.

I also rise in strong support of H.R. 4045.

Madam Speaker, the promises that we make to our young men and women and those who serve and have volunteered to put our Nation's uniform on should always, always be kept. And this important legislation does exactly that by assuring that nearly 50,000--tens of thousands servicemembers will receive the benefits that they, in fact, were promised.

In October of last year, the Department of Defense

significantly changed the amount of earned time and leave time for our troops and began providing less time off for servicemembers after a long deployment. But in that process, they failed to take into account those reservists who were already deployed, including the 2,000 members of the Minnesota National Guard.

Madam Speaker, if we don't pass this legislation, members of the National Guard and the Reserve, including members of Minnesota's famed Red Bulls, will stand to lose approximately 27 days of leave that they were promised. They've already earned that leave.

Let's do the right thing. This is simple. This is straightforward. We need to keep the promises out there for our service men and women.

I want to applaud Chairman Kline. I want to applaud all the members of the Minnesota delegation for working together on something so critical and important and for sending a bipartisan message that we will stand behind our promises to our troops and our men and women in uniform.

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