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tv   [untitled]  CSPAN  June 24, 2009 11:00pm-11:30pm EDT

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mature missile defense board in place. this process yielded a balance to missile defense. h.r. 2647 includes $1 billion to further develop the ground-based system to defend against long threats and prepare sustainment in modernization programs for the ground-based system. h.r. 2647 also substantially increases the deployment of proven defense capabilities and the terminal high altitude defense, which are designed to counter as a missile defense that our troops are likely to face. over the next five years, the standard missile defense inventory will go from 133 to 325. mr. chairman, i want to thank you for working with me. this is a very good bill. we addressed the threats to our forward deployed troops, our allies and i hope our allies
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work with us to pass the bill towards passage. . the chair: the gentleman from california. mr. mckeon: mr. chairman, i yield to the gentleman from maryland, mr. bartlett, the ranking member on the airland subcommittee such time as he may consume. the chair: the gentleman from maryland is recognized. mr. barton: thank you. i'd like to thank my -- mr. -- mr. bartlett: thank you. i'd like to thank all the hard work that has taken place behind the scenes to get this bill done. this is not an easy process. and the legislation before us reflects many difficult decisionings -- decisions. once again this bill places forced protection issues at the top of the priority list. it provides additional funds for the national guard equipment account and the service's unfunded priority list and the changes this bill makes in regards to body armor is long overdue and will provide better protection for our war fighters for years to come.
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as i said during our oversight hearings and subcommittee markup, there hst no doubt that this budget and the decisions that come along with it will fundamentally change the united states air force and army. i see two problems. first, the budget should not drive the strategy. the strategy should be set, then the funding requirements are laid out in the budget that follows. it appears to me that in many cases funding limitations and the f.y. 2010 budget top line were the sole driver and major policy decisions. the second problem i see is that instead of openly engaging the legislative branch and policy matters proposed structure changes and the shifting of requirements for major weapons platforms, the executive branch has chosen to lock us out of those debates and tie our hands by unveiling sweeping policy changes buried under the guise of a budget request. a case in point is the joint cargo aircraft.
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i've asked witnesses from the army, the air force and the office of the secretary of defense, what has changed? why is this mission being moved out of the army and solely over to the air force when not four months ago we received the roles and missions review report that stated that, and i quote, the option that provided most value to the joint force was to assign the c-27-j. to the army and air force? closed quote. none of them have been able to answer the question but all of them stated there was no new study or analysis conducted that countered the existing plan or reduced the rocket requirements for 78 joint cargo aircraft. what has happened as a result of all this is that the congress is now left to debate the puts and takes in the budget with when there has been no vetting of the underlying policy or strategy. this body, not the executive branch, is charged with the constitutional mandate to raise and support arm >>s -- armies and navies. i'm extremely troubled that these decisions have been made in the vacuum and appear at
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least on the surface to be informed by nothing other than top line budget pressures. i want to be clear that my frustration's with the department and not this bill. in fact, given a little information that we have received, i believe our members on both sides of the aisle are really excellent staff have done an amazing job. as i've said on many occasion, the house armed services committee has a long tradition on focusing on issues that most impact and help our brave men and women in uniform and i, like all of the members on both sides of the aisle, am very proud to be serving on this committee. finally i would like to briefly comment on the army's future combat system. as we all know, the secretary of defense announces the decision to restructure the program and terminate the man-ground vehicles. our committee has scrutinized the program in a bipartisan manner since 2004. we've consistently had concerns in regard to the survivability of the man-ground vehicles but we have never questioned the validity of the need for the army to modernize and replace a
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combat vehicle fleet that is in excess of 30 years old. the problem i have is that there's still much information we need so that we can make informed decisions. as a result, week of been forced to make some very difficult decisions that i would prefer to make with more information. again, this is a good bill and i support all members to support it. thank you and i yield back. the chair: the gentleman from missouri. mr. skelton: mr. chairman, i yield three minutes to my friend, my colleague from texas who is the distinguished chairman of the subcommittee on readiness, mr. ortiz. the chair: the gentleman from texas is recognized for three minutes. mr. ortiz: thank you, mr. chairman. i rise in support of h.r. 2647, the national defense authorization act for fiscal year 2010. the bill before us today reflects our committee's continuing efforts to reverse
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the decline in the readiness posture for our armed forces. i would like to thank the ranking member from my subcommittee, my good friend mr. forbes of georgia, for his help in bringing together this excellent bill. the united states military without a doubt, the premier fighting force in the world, however, military leaders face significant challenges as they seek to fulfill today's equipment and training needs. h.r. 2647 is dedicated to providing the necessary resources and authorities to help reverse declining trends in train and equipment readiness. h.r. 2647 includes the falling provisions -- the following provisions to include theover all state of the united states military -- the overall state of the united states military readiness. it provides $13 billion for reset of army and marine corps equipment, deployment. it has $762 million to fully sustain military base facilities
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and infrastructure including the department of defense schools. it has $450 million for army barracks, improvements that provides $440 million to support national guard and reserve military construction programs. it adds $395 million to navy maintenance, accounts for ships and aircraft. it authorizes $90 million for energy conservation projects and encourages use of renewable energy in hybrid and electric vehicles. it requires a g.a.o. report on d.o.d.'s approach to balancing the dwelling requirements of troops. it includes a one-year extension of premium pay for federal civilian employees deployed to iraq and afghanistan. and it provides $4.7 billion for training opportunities for the army. this bill also does many good things for south texas. it provides space for the army reserve to warehouse equipment in a controlled humidity
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environment in texas. the bill also authorizes a project that would reduce carbon emissions and provide a renewable source of free electricity. i support this bill, h.r. 2647, and am proud of what this bill does to restore strength for our military. my friended, this is a good bill that reflects -- my friends, this is a good bill that reflects our bipartisan desire to balance the many priorities of our armed forces. i ask my colleagues and friends to vote for this bill. i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman from california. mr. mckeon: i yield now to the gentleman from virginia, the subcommittee ranking member on readiness committee, mr. forbes, three minutes. the chair: the gentleman from virginia is recognized for three minutes. mr. forbes: thank you, mr. chairman, for the opportunity to stand in support of this year's defense policy bill. i'd also like to express my sincere appreciation for chairman skelton and ranking member mckeon for their leadership and hard work in crafting a bipartisan bill that
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was unanimously supported by the armed services committee. i'd also like to thank the -- the gentleman from texas, mr. ortiz, for his friendship and the foresight with which he conducts the readiness subcommittee. this bill does much to address the readiness issues facing the department of defense by providing the navy with $395 million to address both of the navy's short falls in ship repair and aviation maintenance. we fully funded other key readiness accounts that our men and women have the tools, training and equipment this he need. i'm pleased that this bill -- that they need. i'm pleased this bill fully funds the 2005 background for the army, air force and navy so it can be completed by september, 2011. however, i'm deeply disappointed that the measure does not fully fund $350 million for defense wide projects which includes the construction of critical military hospitals for our men and women in uniform. the amendment that was adopted by the full committee that led
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to this reduction will end up costing taxpayers more than $2 billion in 2010 alone, which is enough money to fully fund these critical health care facilities and restore $1.2 billion for comprehensive missile defense. instead this provision will lead to inflated wages in guam while taking american jobs from construction projects in texas, maryland and virginia. that provision notwithstanding, there are many worth while provisions in this bill that will support our men and women in uniform as well as the communities that support them. i'm pleased that week of added $9 billion above the president's request to assist small businesses and allow them to compete for local defense contracts. an additional $65 million to provide aid to school districts impacted by military families and $20 million above the president's request to assist the military and conservation groups working together to protect against encroachment at our military installations. all in all, mr. chairman, i believe this is a good bill and it will do much to support the readiness of our military.
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i urge my colleagues to support this it bill and i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman from missouri. mr. skelton: mr. chairman, i yield three minutes to my friend who is the distinguished chairman of the subcommittee on expeditionary forces, the gentleman from mississippi, mr. taylor. the chair: the gentleman from mississippi is recognized for three minutes. mr. taylor: thank you, mr. speaker. and i very much want to thank our outstanding chairman, mr. skelton, for giving me this opportunity. i rise in strong support of 2647, the national defense authorization act. as chairman of the expeditionary subcommittee, i'm pleased to report that this strengthens our navy and marine corps by providing the necessary equipment for the young marines to carry out the tasks that our nation requests of them. in all, this bill authorizes $38 billion for navy and marine corps procurement, $19.6 billion for navy and marine corps
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reserve -- research and development efforts, $3.2 billion for navy and marine corps overseas contingency operations and $401.9 million for maintaining robust fleet. i believe that the balance between quality, capability and affordability is met head on with the bill before the house tonight. the bill provides authorization for the correct number of ships, planes and ground vehicles with the right capability to meet the threat, but with the recognition that unless equipment can be procured affordably, we will never be able to build our fleet or our air wings. that's why working in a bipartisan manner, the subcommittee recommended in the -- and the full committee adopted for the construction of the programs. the world's best destroyer. and multi-year procurement authority to realize significant cost savings in the procurement of f-18 strike fighters, to
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repopulate our air wings on the decks of our carriers. in particular, the bill will authorize the construction of eight new battle force vessels to include a virginia class submarine, three combat ships, one ddg-51 destroyer, two cargo ammunition ships and one high street b vessel. in addition to new construction, the bill would authorize procurement of construion for seven additional vessels in coming years, most importantly, two submarines per year starting next year. the bill would authorize the secretary of the navy to enter into multiyear contracts with the purchase of additional f-18 hornets and the e-18 growlers. the bill contains over $100 million in additional funding to buy equipment and material necessary to continue production of these aircraft. these are the finest aircraft in the world today, save our own air force f-22 rapper to. since it's unlikely that our
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navy and air force will go to battle against themselves, that means the super hornet is unmatched by any other striker fighter in the world. we must always remember that the navy and marine corps are our nation's 911 force. they can arrive anywhere in the world quickly with full combat power. they do not need weeks or months to stage equipment. this is why the expeditionary force needs more of these strike fighters. the bill will provide that capability. this bill would also continue vital research and development efforts to ensure that our fleet maintains the technology and the superiority necessary to defeat all threats. i need one minute. mr. skelton: i yield an additional minute to the gentleman. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. taylor: the bill would fund design of next class missile submarine, the next class of nuclear powered cruiser and next class of aircraft carrier. finally the bill authorizes the resources necessary to maintain a robust united states merchant marine and authorize the $60
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million worth of title 11 program. mr. chairman, i would like to thank captain eb before s -- ebbs, heath pope, doug bush for putting together this portion of the bill. i recommend it to the full house for its passage. i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman from mississippi has 12 minutes remaining. the gentleman from california has 18 minutes remaining. the gentleman from california. . the chair: the gentleman from florida is recognized for three minutes. mr. miller: i rise in support of the national authorization of the defense act for fiscal year 2010. as ranking member of the terrorism and unconventional threats and capabilities subcommittee, i think we have put together a good and excellent mark and i would like to thank the chairman of the subcommittee for all of his cooperation in putting this together. the members of the subcommittee
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have worked hard to address the many issues that face special operations, information technology and science and technology investments just to name a few of the areas that our subcommittee has handled. we have provided important support to enhance nato capabilities so our forces do not bear the entire burden of the efforts in afghanistan and elsewhere around the globe. i believe we should support nato's capability to contribute especially at a time when irregular threats are only increasing and partnerships will be the utmost of importance. it increases the budget request to address the command's unfunded requirements. these forces are at the tip of the spear to counter terrorism. the bill includes measures to strengthen the department's ability to operate in cyber space and to address vulnerabilities to our information technology systems.
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the bill establishes a joint program office to coordinate the cyber capabilities across the department and continues to push the department to establish processes for the timely acquisition of needed information technology systems. finally this bill continues our previous support of science and technology programs. sustained investment in this area is very important for our military forces to maintain their war fighting capability, not just now, but well into the future. i would say we need to continue to work on strategic communications, combating the use of weapons of mass destruction and ensuring our national defense strategy addresses the range of threats found in our security environment today. we must not lose sight of the importance of these issues and ensure the forces have the equipment and training needed. and before finishing, i would like to thank mr. john mchugh for all of his help, confidence and advice. we wish him god speed.
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and i ask my colleagues to support this bill and yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman from missouri. mr. skelton: i yield three minutes to my colleague, my friend, chairman of the subcommittee on terrorism, unconventional threats and capabilities, the gentleman from washington, mr. smith. the chair: the gentleman from washington is recognized for three minutes. smith smith i rise in support of the national authorization act and discuss briefly the portions of the bill contained under the subcommittee that i chair on terrorism, unconventional threats and exabets and i thank ranking member miller from the great state of florida for his support for this bill. we work in true bipartisan fashion on the subcommittee, following the lead of our abled chairman who does the same with the full committee and in large part as a result of that, we produce a very good product. i want to thank the chairman for his overyou'll leadership. it places the priorities exactly
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where they belong, first and foremost on our troops and families, giving them the support they need to continue to fight and defend our country. you can see the priority that that is put in this bill. i really appreciate the chairman's work on that and the 3.4% pay raise across the board for our military. the bill prioritizes our fight in afghanistan. the central front now in the war against al qaeda. and it is absolutely clear that the battle over there has a profound impact on the national security of this country. this bill gives our troops over there, the resources and equipment they need to fight the fight and defeat al qaeda and protect us against the violent extremists in that region. and the battle in pakistan, they are funding over there. on the subcommittee portion of our mark on the terrorism subcommittee, we are focused on three main issues, first of all, support for counterterrorism
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efforts, the fight against al qaeda and broader counterinsurgency and counterterrorism efforts across the globe. second, the support for innovative new technologies to give the troops the updated equipment they need to best fight those fights. and lastly, protect our homeland against unconventional threats. all of these areas are focused on irregular warfare, the emerging threat we face. i want to thank secretary gates for his leadership in funding the money necessary, the programs necessary, the troops necessary to fight these fights. he made some bold steps in this bill to move us past the cold war mentality, to focus on the threats that are right there before us from al qaeda and other violent extremist groups. and i think that makes an enormous difference. in our mark, we do everything we can to support our troops with the special operations command. they are the tip of the spear in fighting insurgencies across the globe. we are in the process of growing
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their force and it is necessary to fully support their outstanding efforts in protecting us across the globe. we always make a high priority funding their efforts. we fully fund all of their unfunded requirements in this mark. with that, mr. chairman, i want to compliment chairman skelton and ranking member mckeon and ranking member mchugh for all of his work on this committee and on this bill and ranking member miller for his support as well. we have put together an outstanding bill that will protect the national security interests of this country. thank you. the chair: the gentleman from california. mr. mckeon: i yield to the the gentleman from missouri, ranking member member on the sea power subcommittee, mr. akin, for three minutes. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for three minutes. mr. akin: i rise in support of the national defense authorization act for fiscal year 2010. as ranking member of the sea power and expeditionary sea
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forces subcommittee, i commend chairman taylor of meeting the needs of our sailors, aviators and marines. the bill takes an important step towards addressing the navy's stryke fighter shortfall. the navy completed a study required in last year's bill to evaluate the procurement for the 18 super hornet which is the only production we have for fighters for the navy. unfortunately, the secretary of defense refused to allow the report to be submitted to congress. in the absence of any analysis of this issue from the department, the committee used its own judgment and included authority for the super hornet. we provide sufficient long lead funding to enable the navy to execute this multiyear contract. i believe this is imperative, especially as navy continues to find more and more areas of concern on the legacy fleet that may make it challenging to
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extend the service life of these aircraft. i want to thank chairman taylor for working with me on this issue as well as the number of others. for the marine corps, it funds the ex pe dish area program. and m wraps and all of the items. despite the fact that the department of defense refused to provide the 30-year ship building program required by law which made this committee's work difficult, the bill largely supports the president's budget request in this area. at the full committee, representative conaway and i and chairman taylor introduced an amendment that would put teeth made to the littoral ship program. the navy needs to know we are serious about controlling costs and don't adjust cost caps lightly. the main concern i have with this bill does not fall under
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the sea power subcommittee, but i must mention it. cutting missile defense makes no sense, particularly when north korea and iran are both working on nuclear weapons and long-range missiles. a cut of this magnitude is unacceptable. i have one other concern. we are not investing enough in the future of our military. the top line provided by the administration and frankly by this congress is too low. while we seem to be throwing at every other problem under the sun, we are tightening our belts on defense. this makes no sense. but, again, this is a good bill overall and chairman skelton has done his best with these constraints. and we are very thankful for his leadership. finally, mr. chairman, i would like to give our best wishes to former ranking member john mchaw hue. has a fine record in this institution and will continue to serve and fight for the men and women in uniform.
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he will be missed. i ask my colleagues to support this bill and yield the balance of my time. thank you, mr. speaker. the chair: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from missouri. mr. skelton: i yield three minutes to my colleague and my friend, the distinguished the gentlewoman from on the subcommittee of military personnel, the gentlelady from california, ms. davis. the chair: the gentlelady is recognized for three minutes. mrs. davis: i want to salute mr. skelton and thank him very much for his support. mr. speaker, i join my colleagues on the house armed services committee in support of h.r. 2647, the national defense authorization act for fiscal year 2010. as chairman of the military personnel subcommittee, i'm proud of the provisions in the bill that improve the quality of life for our service members, their families, retirees and military survivors.
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i want to recognize my colleague and ranking member, the gentleman from south carolina, joe wilson, for working with me and supporting these very important initiatives. mr. speaker, service members and their families are bearing the burden of multiple deployments after nearly eight years of conflict. it is our responsibility to support our men and women in uniform and their families, given the enormous sacrifices they are making in defense of our nation. we all agree that these men and women are the heart and soul of our military. all the weapons systems in the world cannot substitute for their competency, their dedication and sacrifice. sadly, a recent survey shows that 94% of military families do not believe that the american people truly understand the sacrifices they are making on behalf of our country. so we have a responsibility to change that and we're trying to do that with this bill today.
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fortunately, this year, the subcommittee did not have to deal with the dramatic increases to tricare and premiums previously proposed by the department of defense. secretary gates has indicated a willingness to work with the committee to address the significant growth in military health care expenditures. and we need to work together, not only with the department of defense, but with those who represent our military personnel, retirees, survivors and their families to find a fair and equitable solution that protects our beneficiaries and ensures that the financial viability of the military health care system is real. some of the highlights of the bill include, a 3.4% pay raise, which is half of a percent higher than the president's budget request. those who are serving on the front lines every day have earned this pay raise. the bill also includes a number of initiatives that are focused
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on military families, such as tricare for reservists and families and allowance for members with combat-related catastrophic illnesses and injuries to receive assistance. the committee has taken more steps to address the serious mental health issues faced by our military. i am pleased that we will be able to include a series of amendments to make the mental health provisions in this bill even stronger. we must continue to work on this issue. lastly, this bill continues the committee's oversight and commitment to reduce sexual assaults and harassment within the department of defense. mr. speaker, i urge my colleagues to support this bill and i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman from california. mr. mckeon: i yield now to the gentleman from south carolina, subcommittee ranking member on military personnel, mr.âwilson, three minutes. the chair: the gentleman from south carolina is recognized for
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three minutes. mr. wilson: mr. speaker, i rise in strong support of h.r. 2647. this bill canges significant policy and fundings nishttives that address important issues for our military personnel and quality of life. i was honored to serve with military personnel subcommittee chairwoman susan davis, who i have seen firsthand promote our service members, their families and veterans. mr. speaker, i would also like to thank chairman skelton and the professional staff of the armed services committee for their efforts, particularly john and jeanette. to that end, the bill contains many important initiatives, including military pay raise of 3.4%. the raise is .5% above the president's request. large numbers of nondeployable personnel, we have recommended army end strength. the army would increase by


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