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Department of Defense and Further Additional Continuing Appropriations Act, 2011

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mrs. EMERSON. Madam Speaker, I rise in support of this resolution, and really want to express, I believe the opinion of all of us, that we do not want the Federal Government to shut down because doing so means abrogating our responsibility to serve the American people from both the legislative and executive branches.

We have all talked about how a shutdown also means our men and women in uniform will face the uncertainty of serving without pay. Your phones must be ringing like mine are, because we are hearing from so many military families whom we represent. They are facing uncertainty on top of uncertainty, posted overseas or with a family member away on active duty in harm's way. They are just trying to keep their households intact. And the President would veto such a piece of legislation?

So this measure achieves two important goals. It ensures our military operations and the pay of our military members are uninterrupted, and it provides us another week to continue negotiations. No one in this Congress should mistake this for easy work, because it isn't. We are attempting to reduce discretionary spending from historic heights, control the growth in the scope of government, and give our children a future where the necessary functions we enjoy today exist for them tomorrow. We are also attempting to endow them with a future in which they can enjoy low taxes, keep more of what they earn, and invest in new ideas and opportunities, those things that have made our Nation great.

The negotiators and staff members on both sides of this effort are working late hours, weekends; and I am convinced we all want to get this right. But it would be more helpful if we could agree to work and find consensus instead of ripping apart a 1-week bill that funds our troops. I am not the only one to notice that we began the budget process for 2012 this week at the very moment when we are trying to resolve our responsibilities for 2011.


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