CONFERENCE REPORT ON H.R. 1268, EMERGENCY SUPPLEMENTAL APPROPRIATIONS ACT FOR DEFENSE, THE GLOBAL WAR ON TERROR, AND TSUNAMI RELIEF ACT, 2005 -- (House of Representatives - May 05, 2005)
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Mr. FRELINGHUYSEN. Mr. Speaker, I rise in strong support of H.R. 1268 making supplemental appropriations to ensure that our forces who are hard at work in Iraq and Afghanistan, and elsewhere, have the tools they need to do their job, and are well protected.
Mr. Speaker, this week we witnessed the establishment of Iraq's first democratically elected government in over half a century and their swearing in. This event is yet another historic milestone in Iraq's progress toward a representative and transparent government.
But even as we see important movement toward democracy, we are reminded that "freedom is not free." As those of us who have seen war know, it is paid first by the sacrifices of those who serve.
Their courage is our inspiration. We wish them Godspeed, swift victory and safe return.
However, while it pales in comparison to the sacrifices of our brave men and women in the field, there is another part of the equation. And it is before us today.
With this legislation, Congress is acting decisively to ensure that our soldiers, sailors and airmen have the resources they need to keep Iraq on the road back to the community of civilized nations.
This bill contains over $76 billion to support military activities. This sum will: pay for the troop deployment; repair and replace damaged vehicles being chewed up in an extreme harshly operating environment; replenish stores of munitions and supplies; and provide additional armor for vehicles, improved communications gear and more night-vision equipment.
I would also add that this bill also provides over $60 million for additional electronic devices designed to protect our forces from the "weapon of choice" of the insurgents-IEDs.
Mr. Speaker, this "wartime supplemental" appropriations bill meets our military, humanitarian and foreign policy requirements.
We have every reason to be proud of young men and women at war. Every single word of praise uttered on this floor today is justified.
But while our young men and women in uniform appreciate our vocal support, they need this bill. It will provide them with the tools they need to get their job done as quickly as possible so they can return home to their families.
I commend Mr. Lewis, the Chairman of the Appropriations Committee-the gentleman from California-for his leadership.
And I urge passage of the legislation.
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