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Department of Defense, Military Construction and Veterans Affairs, and Full-Year Continuing Appropriations Act, 2013

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. BRALEY of Iowa. Mr. Speaker, I rise today against H.R. 933. This bill includes reckless, across-the-board spending cuts known as the sequester, which have a disproportionate impact on critical programs that serve those in our nation's most vulnerable communities. Because Congress is unwilling to act responsibly, drastic cuts are set to go into effect with this bill, and hundreds of Iowa kids will bear the burden of lawmakers' inaction by no longer having access to Head Start services. Investments for children's education will be cut. Additionally, the bill could impact other everyday services such as the closure of hundreds of air traffic control towers throughout the country, including three in Iowa. Along with the harmful cuts that the sequester brings, the Defense Appropriations portion of the bill continues to fund $87 billion dollars towards the war in Afghanistan. We need to bring our brave men and women serving in uniform home rather than continue to fund a war that has lasted longer than a decade.

Although I oppose the bill in its current form, there are many provisions in the bill that I do support. I applaud the 1.7 percent pay increase for military personnel. I support the continuation of a pay freeze for Members of Congress. I also support the increased funding for embassy security following the needs identified after the Benghazi attacks. I am also pleased to know that the bill provides for substantial foreign aid to our ally Israel.


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