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Department of Defense Appropriations Act, 2013

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Ms. KAPTUR. Mr. Chairman, I want to thank the gentleman from Washington for yielding me this time.

I want to acknowledge the work of our full committee under the chairmanship of Mr. Rogers, and obviously the wonderful work of our chairman, Bill Young, and of our subcommittee ranking member, Mr. Dicks. Their collegial work has made this bill possible, and it will benefit our entire Nation, our men and women in uniform, our Armed Forces, and all of those who are touched by this legislation.

I would like to add my voice to those who wish to recognize the magnificent work that Congressman Dicks has done during his years of service to our country back from the time when he first worked for Senator Warren Magnuson. We would like to wish him, his wife, Suzie, and their beautiful family many healthy and productive years ahead. We thank him for his distinguished and honorable and intrepid service--always dutiful, always enlightened. When he walks from these Halls officially, he takes great knowledge and should take great satisfaction with him for a job well done, indeed.

I want to extend to Congressman Jerry Lewis, as well, deep appreciation from the people of our States and country for your incredible service.

I would venture to say, when both of you gentlemen leave these Chambers, nearly a century of knowledge will walk with you. You have left America with her strongest defense globally, and you have been a part of crafting every single line of these bills. America thanks you and the free world thanks you.

This bill has been written in a bipartisan way by our subcommittee, and I thank the members for working collaboratively together. It is a model for our committee and Congress on how to do the work necessary to meet the needs of the American people.

The bill includes $125 million above the President's request for funding health research for traumatic brain injuries and posttraumatic stress, which are the signature wounds of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Our bill includes an additional $246 million for cancer research, including breast cancer, prostate cancer, ovarian cancer, and lung cancer.

The bill also includes necessary funding for the Iron Dome. During the last decade of war, our National Guard and Reserve units have proven themselves as the strategic reserve force for our Nation. The Air Force, in submitting its FY13 budget, did not appear to appropriately appreciate the importance of the Guard and Reserve because they targeted those units for mission reductions and cancellations. Our subcommittee has fixed this oversight by providing the necessary funding to allow the Guard and Reserve to continue their missions, which they do extremely well and at considerably less cost than the Air Force does.

Our bill fixes a continuing issue from the executive branch and maintains our Nation's industrial base by making sure we do not end the domestic production capability for tanks for the first time since World War II. The bill averts a plan to shut down the production line for 2 years. Shutting the lines would have cost the American taxpayers more money than producing tanks over the same time and would dismantle the critical, fragile supplier network.

The legislation also continues the military's commitment to lead our Nation towards energy independence. The Pentagon, as the largest petroleum user in the world, must lead our Nation toward energy independence. No challenge could be more vital to our national security and economic security interests. High fuel costs are an enormous burden on America's families. It is also a severe and wasteful burden on our service branches, and it diverts funds from important readiness and modernization needs.

Thank you, Mr. Dicks, for this time. Godspeed to you and to your family in the years ahead.

Thank you, Congressman Lewis. To you and to your wife, Arlene, may you enjoy many wonderful years ahead.

Thank you, Chairman Young, for being a chairman who brings this Congress together at the subcommittee level, and Chairman Rogers, at the full committee level. Thank you for working with all of our Members to meet the needs of our Nation and our Nation's defense.

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