tv [untitled] CSPAN June 25, 2009 11:30am-12:00pm EDT
health risk. the u.s. military has been disposing of hundreds of tons of war zone waste through burn pits. all who live and work on these bases routinely exposed to the smoke from these pits which would include waste for medical facilities, dining facilities, and maintenance facilities as well as trash. to imagine the scale of these burn pits, the air base in iraq has increase in two tons per day. we simply must protect our troops who have had repeated exposure to this. we do not wish to see an agent orange situation develop here. so i ask that we set some limits on the burning of these pits. thank you. . the chair: the gentleman from california. mr. mckeon: mr. chairman, i'm happy to yield at this time to mr. turner, the gentleman from ohio, subcommittee ranking member, two minutes. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for two minutes. mr. turner: thank you, ranking member mckeon.
i want to thank the gentleman for the amendment that's in the en bloc. jim marshall and i introduced nato first bill. with the chairman supporting it, six out of eight of the bills is in the national defense authorization act. as the u.s. and russia begin or start negotiations, this treaty expiring at the end of 2009, it's important for us to set some framework. this amendment would limit the use of f.y. 2010 defense funds to implement reductions for u.s. strategic nuclear forces pursuant to a treaty with russia. for example, start, unless the president certifies that the treaty, one, provides sufficient verification mechanisms. two, does not limit u.s. ballistic missile defense systems, space capabilities, advanced defense capabilities. the amendment also requires a report on u.s. and russian nonstrategic nuclear weapons. i want to thank our staff who
worked diligently for the drafting of the nato first bill and also for the accomplishment of these amendments. i want to thank the chairman who has continued to work in a bipartisan way to accomplish a number of provisions in this bill that are important to our national security. and i believe this is certainly one of them. with that i yield back. the chair: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from missouri. mr. skelton: mr. chairman, the gentleman from georgia desires to have a colloquy at this point, mr. kingston. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for a colloquy. mr. kingston: i thank the gentleman for yielding. and i rise today in strong support of the community of hinzville, georgia and liberty county. i commend the area for their ardent support of their troops and the army at fort stewart. november, 2007, the army announced that for the stewart would receive another bri gad combat team using the -- that fort stewart would receive
another brigade combat team. since that time, the community installation and congress have geared up and invested for that growth working with post leadership in the pentagon, congress funded military projects such as barracks, buildings and operation facilities at $154 million for f.y. 2008. and for $352 million for f.y. 2009. clearly the army has invested greatly to maintain fort stewart's tradition as an award winning installation of excellence. on behalf of the leadership, the hinsville community stepped forward to make sure that the new troops would have adequate housing and public infrastructure. the department of defense also sent the office of economic adjustment to assist the community to properly prepare for the arrival of the new brigade combat team. investments were made for new schools, roads, infrastructure, banks, made many loans to
property developers who in turn purchased land and provided homes and commercial properties to support the arrival of over 10,000 soldiers and families. however, the decision announced by the army this june has brought all this economic activity to a halt. while some of this infrastructure will be used or absorbed in time, it is clear that without the arrival of the brigade combat team, the city has overbuilt and overinvested. the economic hardship would not have occurred without the bracc based decision to bring additional troops and that the city get aggressively involved. the community support in fort stewart has much to offer for the army. i stand here in support of the provisions within this bill that will help address the hardship incurred on the small rural communities that support fort stewart. mr. skelton: mr. chairman, i'm pleased to respond to the gentleman from georgia. he has a long record of support and advocacy for fort stewart
and our nation's armed forces. and i am pleased to inform that gentleman that language has been included in this bill to direct the secretary of defense to carefully consider the economic impact of this policy change on local communities and to provide to congress information about the department's efforts to mitigate the negative effects. this includes any enduring missions plans for the bases fective, including a summary of the department's plan to lessen the economic hardship or investment laws. i'd be happy to work with the gentleman and the secretary of defense, of course, to consider how to address the negative impact of recent base decisions on the local communities that so strongly support our troops. mr. kingston: i thank the gentleman for his kind words of support for the patriotic and hardworking people in the communities surrounding fort stewart and i appreciate the chairman's support to work with me through this year's national defense authorization act to
ensure the army and local communities can continue to have strong pardoner inships in the support of the troops. and i yield back the balance of my time. thank you, again. mr. skelton: thank you. the chair: the chair will note that the gentleman from california has 7 3/4 minutes remaining, and the gentleman from missouri has three minutes remaining. the gentleman from california. mr. mckeon: mr. chairman, at this time i yield to the gentleman from illinois, mr. kirk, two minutes. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for two minutes. mr. kirk: i thank our ranking member, mr. mckeon, and especially our chairman, ike skelton, for improving one of the amendments in the en bloc. in december i became the first member of this house to serve in an imminent danger area in afghanistan in uniform. during my time i learned that most nato soldiers with our command only deploy for six months, and americans deployed for 12. only state and u.s. -- usaid
personnel served for years in afghanistan. major general flynn, of the joint chiefs of staff, now head of all intelligence for the afghan command under general mcchrystal, convinced me that we need a corps of experts in uniform who can deliver on years of commitment to the afghan deployment, who can build especially an expertise in the afghan languages. this amendment, the larson-kirk amendment, allows for arrangements of members of the military wishing to make a deployment for -- to afghanistan. d.o.d. and senior commanders feel that this language that will build a dedicated long-term afghan corps of enlisted officers will quickly become the leaders of our afghan nato effort. based upon our bipartisan bill
that congressman larson and i introduced, our bill would laid out a $250,000 payment for a soldier willing to make a for the duration commitment. in my discussions with the troops currently in the field in kandahar, they are pumped up about the opportunity that this commitment would be. i feel that only a small number of soldiers would sign up, but each one of them, if strategically placed in key afghan areas, will become vital assets to our effort and the success of president obama's campaign in afghanistan. and i really applaud the chairman and our ranking minority member for putting this in the bill. the chair: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from new jersey. >> i'm pleased to yield one minute to my friend and colleague to the gentleman from new york, mr. bishop. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. bishop: i thank the chairman for yielding. i rise to join my colleague, representative carol
shea-porter, in urging our colleagues to ban burn areas in the war zone. we talked about the reckless disposal of hazardous waste in iraq and afghanistan and the devastating toll they are taking on the health of our service men and women. it's encouraging that the generals have taken seriously our concerns about the dangers of burn pits. but this legislation is necessary to make sure this takes place. this sendorsed by the american legion, by the d.a.v., by the iava, by the national guard association and by the v.f.w. i urge its passage. the chair: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from california. mr. mckeon: reserve the balance of our time. the chair: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from missouri. mr. skelton: mr. chairman, i yield one minute to my friend, a member of the armed services committee, the gentleman from virginia, mr. nye, one minute.
the chair: the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. nye: i'd like to thank the chairman for yielding. mr. speaker, a lot of the legislation that comes through this house deals with obscure technical points and federal programs that most americans have never and will never hear of. however, the amendment that i've introduced, along with my good friends and colleagues from virginia, mr. gerry connolly and mr. tom pierriello, is a commonsense solution to a commonsense problem faced by our military personnel. in my district of hampton roads, men and women are regularly deployed to iraq and afghanistan. when a soldier, sailor, airman or marine is leaving their home to serve our country in harm's way, the last thing he or she has to worry about is paying a cell phone contract termination fee. in the last congress, legislation was passed to allow deployed service members to exit an individual cell phone contract without paying a penalty. and this amendment will extend that same protection to military personnel whose phones
are registered through family plans. the amendment is supported by the iraq and afghanistan veterans of america, and i urge all my colleagues to join me in easing the burden on our men and women in uniform. i yield back. the chair: the time has expired. the gentleman from california. mr. mckeon: i yield at this time the gentleman from arizona, a member of the committee, one minute, mr. franks. the chair: the gentleman is recognized. the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. franks: i thank the distinguished gentleman. mr. chairman, i want to say that i support the hastings amendment because it tries to make sure that groups determined by the attorney general to be of a violent or extremist nature are not recruited in the military service. but i take some offense that one of the cabinet level officials of our government categoryized people who are, quote, dedicated to a single issue such as opposition to abortion or immigration, has rit -- as right-wing extremists. i think the amendment will be
misunderstood. i'd like to hear from the other side that this is not the intent of the amendment and that we would make sure that someone that was dedicated to the patriotism and protecting their country, which it takes a certain amount of extreme dedication to go out and pour one's blood out on the battlefield for the cause of freedom, and i'm making sure that those people are not considered extremists. would nip like to speak on that side? the chair: is the gentleman asking someone to yield? mr. franks: i'd yield to the gentleman of the committee. the chair: the gentleman's time has expired, however. mr. skelton: i yield to the gentleman. mr. franks: i guess i'm asking the chairman of the committee that the hastings amendment would not include the definition of right-wing extremists would not be included in the amendment that's being offered by the
hastings amendment under the en bloc. mr. skelton: we'll have to check just a moment. mr. franks: well, mr. chairman, maybe i could ask for your assurances that people dedicated to single issues in this country such as opposition to abortion or immigration would not be considered extremists and not be disallowed into the military under this -- at least that would not be your intent under this amendment. mr. skelton: that is correct. mr. franks: thank you, mr. chairman. i yield back. the chair: the gentleman from missouri. the gentleman from missouri has 3/4 minutes remaining. mr. skelton: i yield the balance of the time to the chairman of the transportation and infrastructure subcommittee on highways and transportation, the gentleman from oregon, mr. defazio.
i yield one minute to the gentleman from virginia, mr. connelly. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for 45 remaining seconds. mr. connelly: thank you, mr. chairman. mr. chairman, i'm pleased to introduce this amendment with mr. nye and mr. pierriello. during the 110th congress the service members civil relief act did acess cell phone and property release contracts for active duty deployed. however, they did not address -- they addressed individual cell phone contracts and individual leases. they did not provide that protection to family cell phone plans. as a result, we have service members who are finding themselves having to continue to pay obligations to cell phone companies. under the motor vehicle section of our amendment, the leasing agent may not charge an early termination penalty, something
also not addressed in scra last year. this is a practical amendment that will help our active duty deployed and their families make sure that they're safe and secure from this kind of hounding when they're serving their country overseas. the chair: the gentleman's time has expired. mr. connelly: thank you. the chair: the gentleman from california. mr. mckeon: mr. chairman, i continue to reserve unless the chairman needs more time. the chair: the majority has no time. mr. mckeon: will yield the gentleman such time as he needs. mr. skelton: thank you. i yield one minute to the gentleman from virginia, mr. pierriello. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for one minute. . mr. perriello: i'm glad to rise with mr. connolly for this commonsense solution. this is a commonsense fix to ensure that there is no termination fees when cutting off a cell phone contract or an auto leasing deal for our troops when they deploy.
this is the sort of thing i think the new class came here to do. see a problem, find a solution. and bring it to this floor. we are proud today to do this for all those who serve and we request supporter for the amendment. thank you. i yield. the chair: the gentleman from california. mr. mckeon: i would be happy to yield -- the chair: the gentleman from california has four minutes remaining. the gentleman from missouri has no time remaining. mr. mckeon: i yield the time to the chairman. mr. skelton: mr. chairman -- the chair: four minutes. the gentleman is recognized for four minutes. mr. skelton: mr. speaker, since we have no additional requests, we will yield back. the chair: all time has expired. the question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from missouri. so many as are in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the ayes have it. the amendment is agreed to.
it is now in order to consider amendment number 2 printed in house report 111-182, as modified. for what purpose does the gentleman from california rise? mr. mckeon: mr. chairman, it's my pleasure to introduce this amendment. i yield myself such time as i may consume. the chair: the clerk will designate the amendment. the clerk: amendment number 2, printed in house report number 111-182, as modified, offered by mr. mckeon of california. the chair: pursuant to house resolution 572, the gentleman from california, mr. mckeon, and a member opposed, each will control five minutes. the chair now recognizes the gentleman from california. mr. mckeon: thank you, mr. chairman. i yield myself such time as i may consume. the chair: the gentleman is recognized. mr. mckeon: mr. chairman, it's my pleasure to introduce this amendment that honors a good friend of mine, a good friend
of the house of representatives, a good friend of our armed forces, and the american people, congressman john mchugh. mr. chairman, representative mchugh has represented new york's 23rd congressional district in the house of representatives since 1993. we came here together. and he has done so with honor and integrity. representative mchugh's district includes fort drum, the home of the outstanding 10th mountain division, for which he has been a tireless advocate. he's honored and respected by all members of the 10th mountain division, past and present. prior to his service in the house of representatives, he served for many years in local, state, and federal government. since coming to the house of representatives, he's been a champion for the members of the armed forces. he's known by his colleagues as a leader on national defense and security issues. and a relentless advocate for america's military personnel and their families. while in the house, he has led the effort to increase army and
marine corps end strength levels. increase military personnel pay. reduce the unfair tax on veterans disability and military retiree pay. or concurrent receipt. and safeguard military retiree benefits for our troops. mr. chairman, this work is always important, but it has never been more important than now while our troops are in combat. representative mchugh has done outstanding work to support our men and women in uniform and their families. representative mchugh has served on the house armed services committee since the 103rd congress. he was appointed as the chairman of the morale welfare and recreation panel, and then as the chairman of the military personnel subcommittee. his leadership of these two subcommittees has advanced the support and recognition of the needs of the members of our armed services and their families to a greater level than ever before. more recently, during the 111th congress, representative mchugh was appointed ranking member of the house armed services
committee. during his time as ranking member, he continued his tireless work to ensure the success of our armed forces, our national de-- defense, and our security. earlier this month brom announced his intention to nominate representative mchugh to serve as the secretary of the army. i can say with confidence that our loss will definitely be the army's gain. i am absolutely certain that representative mchugh will serve the army with the same commitment and dedication that he has provided to our men and women in uniform while he has been on this side of the river. i want to thank him for his leadership on this committee. his passion for and dedication to the members of our armed forces will be sorely missed by this body. a great friend that we'll miss working here on the hill, but i'm sure we'll have future opportunities to work with him in his new capacity. i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from missouri. mr. skelton: i rise in strong support of this amendment, the
sense of congress honoring i am congressman john mchugh. the chair: without objection, the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. mr. skelton: john mchugh is an outstanding american. outstanding member of congress. former ranking member of the house armed services committee, and has served the people of america in this capacity self-lessly and with -- selflessly and with distinction, it's our opportunity now to express gratitude as a congress and nation for his efforts. he's represented new york's 23rd congressional district since 1993. his district includes northern new york, including fort drum. he's been a public servant now for some 40 years having served in the local, the state, and federal levels of our government. he's highly respected leader on national defense, and has been a staunch advocate for america's military personnel
and their families. as chairman and subsequently ranking member of the subcommittee on military personnel on our armed services committee, john mchugh has shared my desire to increase the end strength for the army and marines. enhands military pay and began efforts to eliminate concurrent receipt to allow the payment of both veterans disability and military retired pay. given his background and his experience, the president nominated john mchugh to serve as secretary of the army on june 2 of this year. it's a tribute to his accomplishments in national defense and on balf of the service men and women and their families. it's a pleasure to honor him in this manner. it's a pleasure to have served with him and we will of course miss him. his brightness, his humor, his quick wit. his dedication to our armed
forces. and we wish him the very best as he serves as a secretary of the army. i can only say this, mr. chairman, that the army will be in good hands with john mchugh. we thank him for his service here and look forward to working with him in his new capacity. i yield back. the chair: the gentleman from missouri yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from california. mr. mckeon: how much time is left? the chair: the gentleman from california has two minutes remaining. mr. mckeon: i'm not going to use all of the two minutes, but i'd just like to embarrass our friend a little bit. maybe we could ask him to stand where we could all see him. this sounds like a funeral service. this is not a funeral service. not a memorial service. we want to thank you, john, for your work. he's a young man and will be doing a lot more in the service
of his country and his state. i'm sure in the future. with that i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman from california yields back the balance of his time. yet son the amendment offered by the gentleman from california, as modified. so many as are in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the ayes have it. the amendment is agreed to. it is now in order to consider amendment number 9 printed in house report 111-182. for what purpose does the gentleman from arizona rise? mr. franks: i rise to speak on the amendment. the chair: the clerk will designate the amendment. the clerk: amendment number 9, printed in house report number 111-182, offered by mr. franks of arizona. the chair: pursuant to house resolution 572, and the order of the house of today, the gentleman from arizona, mr. franks, and a member opposed each will control 10 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from arizona. mr. franks: thank you, mr. chairman. i yield myself such time as i may consume. mr. chairman, nuclear weapons,
especially those connected to intercontinental ballistic missiles, represent the greatest danger, the greatest weapon ever devised or threatened the human family. the enemies of the united states are defiantly developing delivery systems for those devastating weapons. mr. chairman, to be clear, ballistic missile threats are increasing in the world. and while that threat is increasing, our budget in congress to effect missile defense is decreasing. my amendment would restore the $1.2 billion that was cut from last year's appropriated amount. the administration and those who support these cuts have created a false choice between theater defense and homeland defense. if this congress can find $787 billion for a so-called stimulus economic package, then we have no excuse but to also fund the -- both theater defense and the national defense of the american people.
mr. chairman, north korea has recently conduct add nuclear test and missile launches and president obama has called iran's nuclear and ballistic missile activity, "a real threat." despite the threat increase this bill slashes by 35% the only system that we have that has tested and proven to protect the homeland against icbm's. our ground based defense system. my amendment would restore these cuts. mr. chairman, north korea is right now planning a ballistic missile launch and yesterday in fact declared it's ready to wipe out the united states. we have a choice this moment to restore the funds to make these systems viable to protect the american people from this exact threat. i urge my colleagues to vote in favor of protecting the american people and to vote yes on this amendment. with that, mr. chairman, i -- the chair: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. for what purpose does the gentleman from california rise?
mrs. tauscher: i rise in opposition to the amendment. the chair: the gentlewoman is recognized for 10 minutes. mrs. tauscher: mr. chairman, i stand in significant opposition to this amendment. the committee's bill provides $9.3 billion for ballistic missile defense, fully funding the administration's request. budget supports our efforts to build a robust defense against threats from rogue nations such as north korea and increases funding for improven systems like the terminal high altitude area defense by $900 million over the budget level of last year. this amendment would result in wasteful unnecessary spending. as secretary gates told our committee, and i quote, the security of the american people and the efficacy of the missile defense system are not enhanced by continuing to put money into programs that in terms of their operational concept are fatally flawed or research programs that are essentially sinkholes for taxpayer dollars.
with all due respect, mr. chairman, i find myself here trying to rescue the missile defense program from its strongest advocates because all they want to do is spend money. we spent $120 billion over the last 10 years on missile defense. i'm a strong supporter of missile defense. but unless you have oversight, and unless you have an operationally effective system to protect against the existing threats and deploy those systems to protect our four deployed troops, the american people and our allies, it's just money after money after money. now, the advocates of missile defense that just want to spend money don't want to seem to deal with the fact that in this bill we authorize $1 bill to test, sustain -- $1 billion to test, sustain, and improve the existing system. what we found out recently is that the system that's deployed
has got some problems. it's got problems of operations and maintenance. because enough of that money during the previous administration wasn't spent to make sure that the system was maintained. so democrats are strong on missile defense. we want to make sure we have a proven system. one that is not only going to work but one that is also going to deter. the best way to do that is to have a system that is operationally effective and tested. one that is maintained properly. and one that is fielded to array against and deter and defeat against the threats. i think that on our side we believe that we have done that both during the time of the bush administration and certainly now in full support of the president's budget request. i'm happy to reserve my time. the chair: the gentlewoman from california reserves the balance of her time. the gentleman from arizona. mr. franks: i just respond by suggesting that to say $1.2 billion in missile defense spending to be wasteful in spending to be wasteful in light of the fact that three