Military Construction and Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2013

Floor Speech

By:  Alan Nunnelee
Date: May 31, 2012
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. NUNNELEE. Madam Chair, I rise in support of this legislation and commend Chairman Culberson and Ranking Member Bishop on their work and the subcommittee on this bill.

Earlier this week, we remembered Memorial Day and many of us around the Nation gave words in recognition of those who paid the ultimate sacrifice in defense of freedom. It is altogether fitting and proper that we would do that, but our words need to be backed up with actions. This bill provides the action that backs up our words.

In hearings before the subcommittee, we heard from Marine Corps Sergeant Major Michael Barrett; and in his testimony, his phrase echoed in my mind. He said keeping the faith goes both ways.

Well, our Constitution makes it clear that the obligation of our Federal Government is to provide for the common defense. This bill keeps the faith for those men and women who are providing for that common defense. We make sure that our military has the resources and the facilities needed to train, to house, to educate their families, to equip our servicemembers. But it also makes sure that we have the resources to provide health care and benefits to those veterans who have served. And to make it quite clear, we're not giving those veterans anything. They have earned every bit of it. They honored their commitment. It's important that the Nation honor our commitment back to them.

And while this bill keeps the faith with our military, it also keeps the faith with the taxpayers. We're doing our part to curb spending by funding those Departments at a more responsible and effective-use level. It provides an increase in funding for veterans health care; but by cutting military construction, we provide level funding, and that's a responsible thing to do.

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