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Public Statements

Department of Defense Appropriations Act, 2014

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. ANDREWS. Mr. Chairman, our intent is not to promote institutionalized godlessness. Our intent is to promote constitutional fealty.

When a young man or young woman raises their right hand and swears allegiance to this country and agrees to serve in the Armed Forces, they do not consign themselves to serve as a second-class citizen, irrespective of their faith or their life philosophy.

It is wrong to say to a soldier who comes from such a tradition, that he or she, if they have an issue on which they're troubled, must go to a mental health professional in order to receive counseling, rather than someone who comes from their philosophical faith or tradition.

The other problem with this amendment is it frankly second guesses the military leadership of this country, the Pentagon of this country, the Defense Department, and says that even if they would decide that such a decision would be appropriate, they're prohibited from doing so.

Our law recognizes that our Constitution establishes no religion. We should have equality of treatment for our Armed Forces. I'd urge a ``no'' vote on this amendment.

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