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Public Statements

Andrew P. Carpenter Tax Act

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Ms. JACKSON LEE of Texas. I thank the subcommittee ranking member on the Ways and Means Committee for his leadership, and I thank my friend from Texas, Congressman Johnson, for managing, and the sponsor of this legislation as well.

Let me rise in support of what I think is a recognition, a recognition of the sacrifice that families make and those who remain behind after our soldiers fall in battle--a fall pursuant to a service-related injury--and to not have the added burden of having any forgiven debt be included as income to be assessed by the IRS.

I believe that this is a fair and important collaborative exercise, a reasonable response to taxation. I hope, as we come together around veterans and this removal of this burden, we can clearly see pathways to address the question of tax reform that responds to working Americans, that protects working Americans, for that is obviously what this family is. They sent a son off to war, or a daughter off to war--or a mother or father or uncle or aunt, cousins. America is about family. Therefore, now we have the legitimate response that they would not, through some procedural snafu, be burdened by having that forgiven debt be part of the remaining family's income, particularly those who may have cosigned. I know the fallen soldier would not want that to happen.

As I stand here, I cannot help make mention as well of the resolution that saluted the fallen in Libya, H. Res. 786. I just wanted to acknowledge the passion that all Americans have for Ambassador John Christopher Stevens, Foreign Service information management officer Sean Smith, and security officers Tyrone S. Woods and Glen A. Doherty.

As a member of the Homeland Security Committee, I have often said that terrorism is franchised. It does not have to be an army of millions or thousands, it does not have to be a battalion, it doesn't have to be anything but one wanting to do evil. Therefore, it is important to say to the families of these men in particular, and others that fell, and others that were injured, and the men and women that serve as our face--civilian face, if you will--in embassies and consulate offices around the world, particularly those who have served in the horrific backdrop of 9/11 in a region that is now overwhelmed with conflict--to say to their families that our priority will be to offer you sympathy and to mourn with you and to love you and to indicate that we will not allow divisiveness to fall on the issue of who did it.

The SPEAKER pro tempore. The time of the gentlewoman has expired.

Mr. McDERMOTT. I yield the gentlelady an additional minute.

Ms. JACKSON LEE of Texas. What we will do is to raise the flag as Americans and evenhandedly and quickly investigate the source of this horrific incident to our family members. We will not let their memory be diminished by quarreling and squabbling about pointing the finger as much as it will be to investigate what actually happened.

I think it is time now, as we saw occurring just a few days ago with the welcoming home of their bodies, that America draws together to show that we are united around those who have fallen in battle and those who have served, to express our deepest respect, and of course our deepest honor for them.

I will go forth to work harder to ensure that we are protected with secure Council offices and embassies and enhanced security for those who are willing to put themselves on the front line. I think this is appropriate in conjunction with this present legislation, H.R. 5044, that helps our fallen veterans as well.

I thank my colleague for yielding the time.


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