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Department of Defense and Further Additional Continuing Appropriations Act, 2011

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. OWENS. Madam Speaker, I have a motion to recommit at the desk.

The SPEAKER pro tempore. Is the gentleman opposed to the bill?

Mr. OWENS. I am, in its current form.

The SPEAKER pro tempore. The Clerk will report the motion to recommit.

The Clerk read as follows:

Mr. Owens moves to recommit the bill H.R. 1363 to the Committee on Appropriations with instructions to report the same back to the House forthwith with the following amendment:

At the end of title VIII of division A, insert the following new section:

Sec. 8124. Notwithstanding any other provision of this division, the amounts provided by title I of this division for the following accounts shall be as follows: ``Military Personnel, Army'', $41,042,653,000; ``Military Personnel, Navy'', $25,912,449,000; ``Military Personnel, Marine Corps'', $13,210,161,000; ``Military Personnel, Air Force'', $27,105,755,000; ``Reserve Personnel, Army'', $4,333,165,000; ``Reserve Personnel, Navy'', $1,940,191,000; ``Reserve Personnel, Marine Corps'', $612,191,000; ``Reserve Personnel, Air Force'', $1,650,797,000; ``National Guard Personnel, Army'', $7,511,296,000; and ``National Guard Personnel, Air Force'', $3,060,098,000.

Mr. OWENS (during the reading). I ask unanimous consent to dispense with the reading.

The SPEAKER pro tempore. Is there objection to the request of the gentleman from New York?

There was no objection.

Mr. ROGERS of Kentucky. Madam Speaker, I reserve a point of order on the gentleman's motion.

The SPEAKER pro tempore. A point of order is reserved.

Pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from New York is recognized for 5 minutes in support of his motion.

Mr. OWENS. Thank you, Madam Speaker.

I rise in support of this motion because this motion will ensure that the members of the armed services will be paid in the event of a government shutdown. There is no group who deserves our support more than the members of the armed services. As a veteran myself, I recognize the implications of failing to pay those members of the armed services who have given their time, their energy, their blood and, in many cases, their lives in support of our freedom, the freedom that allows us to be here today and to have this heated debate over the direction of our country.

When I look around at what will happen if we fail to pass this motion, we know that the President has indicated he will veto the current underlying legislation, which means in effect we will be unable to pay our military men and women.

The economic consequences to the communities in which our military men and women reside--in my case Fort Drum, as well as many active Reserve units in my district--would be horrific. They will not buy gasoline, they will not buy groceries, they will not buy clothes. There are tremendous economic consequences to the actions that we have failed to take.

I have supported the continuing resolutions previously which have saved $51 billion from the budget. I am not a person not in support of cutting, but we must do cutting and the decrease in the Federal budget in a responsible way--not one which injures our men and women, particularly, as I said before, those who reside at Fort Drum and in and around that community.

I think it's very important as we move forward with this discussion that we keep foremost in our minds the men and women in the military. I think we have not acted, in large measure, responsibly in this process. We need to move to a continuing resolution which is economically based, which will allow the recovery to continue, which will allow job growth to move forward and not be focused on ideology or the slashing and burning of programs which are highly inappropriate.

I yield back the balance of my time.


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