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Mr. FRELINGHUYSEN. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for the time and rise in support of his rule and the underlying Department of Defense appropriations bill for fiscal year 2014.
First of all, I congratulate my chairman, Mr. Rogers, and also Defense chairman, Mr. Young, as well as Mr. Visclosky and Mrs. Lowey, for their hard work and leadership getting this legislation forward.
Mr. Speaker, as we are all keenly aware, the budget of the Department of Defense is under severe stress. We are already seeing the effects of the President's budget cuts and the sequester on military readiness.
To fight effectively, our Armed Forces must be staffed, equipped, and trained to operate under dangerous, complex, and uncertain conditions, often with little or no warning. They require the right personnel using the right equipment and the right training.
But if history teaches us anything, it teaches us that the future is highly unpredictable. Unanticipated events often catch us by surprise. We constantly ask our military to be prepared for any contingency. Yet today we have burdened them with new levels of budgetary uncertainty hampering modernization, planning, and training.
Mr. Speaker, our men and women in uniform need this Defense appropriations process to move forward. We should not force them to contemplate another inefficient continuing resolution on top of additional crippling sequester cuts. That is what will happen if this House cannot find a way to pass this important legislation: more delay, more uncertainty, diminished readiness, more risk for the men and women we ask to go into harm's way.
Is this a perfect rule, this structured rule? Absolutely not. The committee always prefers open rules and regular order.
At the same time, I urge my colleagues to support this rule and the underlying bill so that we can work with the Senate to fulfill our most basic mission under the constitutional duty--to provide for the common defense.
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