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Providing For Consideration Of Conference Report On H.R. 2346, Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2009

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Ms. SUTTON. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman from New York for his leadership on the Rules Committee and for the time.

I rise today in support of the rule and the underlying bill. But as we prepare to send the war supplemental to President Obama, I would be remiss not to express the deep concerns I have about the bill not including an exit strategy for military operations in Afghanistan.

And while I support the supplemental, I am also strongly supporting Representative McGovern's bill to require an exit strategy from Afghanistan. Fairness requires it. Our brave soldiers need to know that we have a plan and that we're looking out for them. And out of fairness to the 185,000 soldiers who have been subject to the stop-loss policy since September 11, 2001, the supplemental that we're about to pass today will provide $500 per month in monthly payments.

And the use of stop-loss has prevented mothers and fathers from returning home to their children, from families and friends from gathering for the momentous occasions that mark their lives. They have gone above and beyond the expectations of their country. So I'm proud to have worked with my colleagues to create the Stop Loss Compensation program and to ensure its funding in this bill.

And I am pleased that we are also funding the bipartisan CARS Act program which Representative Levin spoke of a moment ago. That bill was passed overwhelmingly by this House just last week. And while it's called the CARS Act, it's about far more than just cars. It's about the environment and it's about people. It's about consumers, and it's about the millions of families in this great Nation who depend on the strength of our auto and related industries for their livelihood, to put food on the table, to get health care for their children. It's about our friends and our neighbors, and it's about our communities that depend on auto jobs for their tax base, to support schools and police, firefighters and other city services.

And I'm also proud to say that we have worked on language in the bill to allow that SAFER grants that are used to hire firefighters can be used now to rehire and retain much-needed firefighters.

This bill provides stop-loss payments for those who protect us bravely overseas. It funds the consumer-environmental beneficial CARS Act to help shore up the 3 to 5 million jobs in our auto industry that Americans depend upon for a living, and it provides for more adequate staffing for firefighters who bravely protect us at home.


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