Mr. THOMPSON of Pennsylvania. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to urge my colleagues to support H.R. 1520, the POW/MIA Accounting and Recovery Support Act of 2013.
The Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command, or JPAC, is a task force within the Department of Defense with a mission to account for prisoners of war or those missing in action from all past conflicts. It's part of a commitment we have made to these American heroes, along with their families and loved ones seeking closure.
As most are aware, the Pentagon recently announced plans to furlough as many as 800,000 Federal civilian workers in order to achieve spending reductions under the Budget Control Act. These workers will be required to take 14 unpaid days off between now and October. As a result, JPAC employees will have to take at least 1 furlough day a week, with no exceptions. This will significantly impact JPAC's accounting and recovery teams, which are actually deployed on operations that last between 35 and 45 days.
The POW/MIA Accounting and Recovery Support Act will allow JPAC civilian employees to continue these critical missions without unnecessary disruption or delay. I encourage my colleagues to join me and Representative Stephen Lynch in cosponsoring H.R. 1520.