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Mr. YARMUTH. I thank my friend from Florida. Mr. Speaker, I rise in opposition to the rule which, if enacted, will block United States servicemembers and veterans from getting the best care and services we can offer.
In the Rules Committee, I offered an amendment to exempt from the proposed moratorium any regulation that is related to the health and safety of United States servicemembers and veterans. I did so because I believe, as I'm certain all my colleagues do, that servicemembers and veterans are best served when the agencies that serve them can provide critical treatment and assistance in a timely and responsive manner. Doing so often requires writing new rules and regulations. We should not, for example, block a new regulation that allows the VA to provide medical or other benefits to caregivers of veterans and servicemembers in exchange for a new talking point about the economy.
My colleagues on the Oversight and Government Reform Committee agreed. My amendment was unanimously approved in a bipartisan fashion. Yet, inexplicably, Republicans are now blocking it from a full vote. Suddenly, they're ready to let our commitments to our heroes lapse. And for what, a new talking point? Over the next 5 years, more than 1 million veterans will return home from war. Part of our commitment to them must be to ensure that they have the best services available, whether that's in health care, job training, or educational benefits.
Mr. Speaker, most legislation has unanticipated consequences. This legislation has a consequence that is easily anticipated, and that is that we will be tying the hands of the agencies that serve our brave men and women in the armed services. I ask any one of my Republican colleagues from the Rules Committee to explain why this amendment wasn't made in order and why this rule is sending a message to our military and veterans that they aren't entitled to the best we have.
I urge my colleagues to vote against this rule and the bill.
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