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Mrs. MILLER of Michigan. Madam Speaker, I rise today in strong support of this legislation, the Pay Our Guard and Reserve Act.
The first and foremost responsibility of the Federal Government is to provide for the common defense. That is actually in the Preamble of our Constitution. Since our Nation's birth, some 237 years ago, the National Guard has been at the foundation of our common defense.
Since 9/11, Madam Speaker, we have seen the largest call-up to active service of our National Guard and Reserve since World War II. They actually make up about 30 percent of everybody who is in theater. The men and women of the Guard and Reserve have always answered freedom's call with bravery and with honor. The enemies and their bullets make no distinction between the regular Armed Forces and the Guard and Reserve, so it is beyond me to understand why this Congress would do so.
We have a duty to make certain that those brave men and women have the training that they need to serve in the defense of our freedoms and to make certain that they are paid for their service. Vote ``yes'' for the National Guard and Reserve. Vote ``yes'' on this legislation.