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Public Statements

Honoring America's Veterans and Caring for Camp Lejeune Families Act of 2012

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. STUTZMAN. Mr. Speaker, I thank the chairman for yielding and for his leadership on the Veterans' Affairs Committee.

I rise in strong support for the Senate amendments to H.R. 1627. The bill is a product of many months of bipartisan work to improve the lives of our veterans and their families.

I'm very proud of sections 706 and 707, which contained provisions I introduced in H.R. 1657 and H.R. 2302 respectively. Section 706 would tighten the process to debar firms that willfully and intentionally misrepresent themselves as veteran or service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses by stipulating a 5-year debarment period from contracting with the VA for the company and its principals. Section 706 would also require VA to complete the debarment no later than 90 days after such finding.

Mr. Speaker, section 707 of the underlying bill would require VA to provide a quarterly report to Congress on the cost of the Department's conferences. Every year, VA spends millions of dollars on conferences. While I understand the need for such meetings, recent history is sufficient to demand an accounting so Congress can provide proper oversight of such spending. Section 707 would require VA to report on conferences costing $20,000 or more or on conferences attended by 50 or more people, including at least one VA employee. It would also require VA to estimate the cost of conferences to be held during the quarter in which the report is provided.

In closing, Mr. Speaker, for our veterans and their families, I urge my colleagues to support the Senate amendments to H.R. 1627.

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