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Department of Defense and Further Additional Continuing Appropriations Act, 2011

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. CARTER. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Madam Speaker, this past week or so ago, we had the NCOs of all the Services come in to appear before the MilCon Subcommittee. The question was asked, I believe, by my friends on the other side: What is the number one concern of the United States military, of those who are fighting our wars today--our wars in Afghanistan, Iraq and now in Libya? What is their number one concern?

The top NCO of every Service said: Losing their paychecks and not being able to care for their families back home.

Now, the Democrats are holding our poor troops hostage so that they can have this agenda that is going to result in shutting down the government. Let's make this clear. What we are offering today is to continue the government in action for the next week but to make sure that our troops know that their pay is going to be solid because we are going to fund the Defense Department for the next 5 months.

This is intolerable. We offered in H.R. 1 to fund the entire government and to fund our troops. The Democrats rejected it. We offered again today to fund our troops--to make sure that they're going to get paid and to make sure that the contracts are met and that essential training services are there. They refused it. We have a backup bill, H.R. 1297, which will just guarantee that the troops get paid. They've refused it. Now the Commander in Chief of the military in this country has announced that he is going to veto a bill that would see to it that our soldiers get paid.

The number one worry of men and women in combat today: Will my folks back home have a paycheck?

Now, that's not me saying that. That's the highest NCOs in the Army. We need to respect that and we need to pass this.


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