tv U.S. House of Representatives Legislative Business CSPAN May 17, 2016 2:00pm-4:01pm EDT
sprayed all over the trees. people said, oh, that doesn't do anything. just the leaves drop off. and then we had an epidemic of physical illnesses secondary to agent orange. we told veterans for years, it's not a problem, it's not a problem, it wasn't that agent orange that got you. well, then we decided -- mr. defazio: i yield the gentleman one additional minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. mcdermott: then we found out that in fact it was, and we have been paying and paying and paying, so this is one of those issues where you put it on cheap but you're going to pay for it in the long term. some of you over there clearly don't care. . the guy in michigan that decided to use the dirty river water and inflict that on the children of flint and the lead poisoning and the lead effects on their heads, that's the kind
of mentality we're dealing with with people who run this bill every two years from the companies that make this stuff. it comes 2011, 2013, 2014, 2015, here it is again this year. it will be back. this bill isn't done. they're going to keep trying to convince the american people that you can just spread chemicals everywhere and it doesn't have effects on people but it does. that's what environmental health is all about, and that's why this bill is a step backward to about 1950 when we didn't really know what pesticides did to people. now we do, and we are absolutely right in voting against this bill and the president ought to veto it if it gets through. the senate, as bad as they are, they won't even let this bill through. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from ohio is recognized.
members are reminded to direct their remarks to the chair. mr. gibbs: mr. speaker, i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. gibbs: comparing responsible pesticide use to protect the environment and protect human health as to agent orange is really over the top. i agree with one thing that the previous speaker talked about, we need to do more about zika. this is one tool in the toolbox to address this. and this bit about spraying pesticides uncontrolably all over the place, as a farmer i've heard that my whole life. it's really expensive. to use these pesticides, you have to be certified by the state, the e.p.a., and you have to be applying it by the label that the e.p.a. already approved. this goes through rigorous testing and regulation. and so it's not uncontrolable rfra, to control
this. this is not uncontrolled application of pesticides, contaminating our water bodies. i said the recent geological studies don't document we are not contaminating our water bodies. i'll maybe this clear this is not uncontrolable. we have laws in place that's called fifra. if you break that law you break the law and you should be punished and held accountable. i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from oregon is recognized. mr. defazio: i yield myself such time as i may consume. well, the problem here is that it doesn't require record keeping. it's a label. you're supposed to follow the label. now, there's an even more recent problem in oregon. we talked about the fish kill earlier which is a flight spraying of herbicides on lands that was applied and drifted into occupied areas and streams.
now, without the e.p.a. requirement that you record and report, we wouldn't know that that had happened but now we do and the people are complaining about health effects have some recourse since they know what was applied, when it was applied and who applied it. now, if we do away with that requirement, say, oh, well, the states might still require something, well, they might not. so therefore, be, well, you have to follow the label or not. how are you going to find out if they followed the label? how are you going to find out whose plane it was? how will you know what they'll spray? you won't be able to. e.p.a. said, wait a minute, wait a minute. that body of water is already impaired with this particular herbicide or pesticide. we should limit more applications in that area. no, we don't want to know about that. we don't want to know about that. that's the bottom line here. we're talking about record
keeping and rorpgs after the fact. what you use, where'd you put it? so if something was injured or we find out if their bodies of water is impaired, they can figure out how it happens. but if we do with away this requirement, with this groundhog day bill, you know, again, it was pest management, it was forest health, then it was reducing regulatory burdens. but now reborn in the last week as zika control because it's, as the gentlelady from maryland jure. he cause de it has nothing to do with zika. i was pleased to say they would put $1.2 billion into zika because as the pun lishing of the aprops bill it was $622 million which is a third of what the president was asking. now they're up 66%. that's great. i hope that's right because we haven't seen that in writing yet. but the bottom line is we need to partner with the states to
deal with the threat of zika. just like we did with west nile. none of which is going to be impaired by a little record keeping so we know where, how, what was applied. so you do -- so citizens of the united states, private property owners will have some recourse. with that i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from ohio is recognized. mr. gibbs: can i inquire how much each time has? the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman has 2 1/2 minutes. mr. gibbs: the other side? the speaker pro tempore: zero. mr. gibbs: zero, ok. i guess i'll close because they're out of time and they can't close, right? first of all, the gentleman from oregon talks about the record keeping. there's additional burdensome records on this requirement, but a certified pesticide applicantor has to keep records. they have to keep records what they applied, when they applied it, what the wind speed was, what the temperature was. there is a record there. i will correct his information.
he's a little inaccurate on that. you know, this bill, we talk about west nile. you know, we had in 2012, we had some crisis in this country of west nile epidemics. dallas, texas, had to declare an emergency. it's probably they weren't doing what they were supposed to be doing. i think what's really important. we need -- that's why we put a sunset provision in this bill. september 30, 2018, this bill sunsets and we put that in there to address that towards zika. the zika will probably run its course. hopefully in two years we'll forget about it like we've done ebola. the problem is we need to do everything we can to mitigate the problem in the interim. and we saw last week there was 103 pregnant women in the united states that had zika virus. today i was told 113. that number is jumping and will jump up fast because we are in mosquito season. when the mothers will start delivering the babies and we
have problems that won't be a pleasant experience. that two-year sunset provision in there we're targeting it to address that issue. we need to give our states and local communities the tools they need. we're going to do more this week. we'll give them the resources, the dollars they need, but we also got to make sure they can spend that money like the example i gave, that $36,000 set on administrative paperwork, they can spent it on killing the larvae and mosquito. it's good to kill the larvae before they hatch. so the risks are high but we need to make sure we do this and i just want to reiterate, fifra is already in place to make sure we don't have bad actors out there polluting our water bodies. if they do they'll be held accountable and the e.p.a. can step in and investigate those and do that and the e.p.a. has all the authority they had knee because they approve the label, the applicantors and go back to
every job applicantor and ask for their records. they can go to my local farm supply could he on and say, when did you -- coop and say, when did you apply, what did you apply and all that is for our regulators to see and they can do that. all this bill does is fix the court decision that has a regulatory burden and we need to support this bill and let our communities and our states do their job to protect the public health and request -- urge support of the bill. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. all time has expired. the question is will the house splulls and pass the bill h.r. 897, as amended. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, 2/3 having responded in the affirmative -- mr. defazio: mr. speaker, i ask for a recorded vote. the speaker pro tempore: does the gentleman ask for the yeas and nays? mr. defazio: yes. the speaker pro tempore: the yeas and nays are requested. all those in favor of taking this vote by the yeas and nays will rise and remain standing until counted.
a sufficient number having arisen, the yeas and nays are ordered. pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20, further proceedings on this question will be postponed. pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20, proceedings will resume on questions previously postponed. votes will be taken in the following order. ordering the previous question h.res. 732, adopting h.res. 732, if ordered, agreeing to motion to instruct on s. 524 and suspending the rules and passing h.r. 897. the first electronic vote will be conducted as a 15-minute vote. the remaining electronic votes will be conducted as five-minute votes. the fiction is on ordering the previous question on -- the unfinished business is on ordering the previous question on house resolution 872. the clerk will report the title of the resolution. the clerk: house calendar number 114, house resolution 732, resolution providing for consideration of the bill h.r. 4909, to authorize appropriations for fiscal year 2017 for military activities of
the department of defense and for military construction, to prescribe military personnel strength for such fiscal year and for other purposes. the speaker pro tempore: the question is on ordering the previous question. members will record their votes by electronic device. this is a 15-minute vote. [captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation with the united states house of representatives. any use of the closed-captioned coverage of the house proceedings for political or commercial purposes is expressly prohibited by the u.s. house of representatives.]
the speaker pro tempore: on this vote the yeas are 239. the nays are 177. the previous question is ordered. the question is on adoption of the resolution. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. the ayes have it. for what purpose does the gentleman from colorado seek recognition? mr. polis: i ask for a recorded vote. the speaker pro tempore: a recorded vote will rise. those in support of the request
for a recorded vote will rise and be counted. a sufficient number having arisen, a recorded vote is ordered. members will record their votes by electronic device. this is a five-minute vote. [captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation with the united states house of representatives. any use of the closed-captioned coverage of the house proceedings for political or commercial purposes is expressly prohibited by the u.s. house of representatives.]
the speaker pro tempore: on this vote the yeas are 234. the nays are 181. a majority voting in the affirmative, the resolution is is adopted and without objection, the motion to reconsider is laid on the table. the unfinished business is the vote on the motion to instruct on s. 524 offered by the gentlewoman from kentucky, ms. esty, on which the yeas and nays are ordered. the clerk will redesignate the motion. the clerk: motion to instruct conferees on senate 524 offered by ms. esty of kentucky. the speaker pro tempore: the question is on the motion to instruct. members will record their votes by electronic device. this is a five-minute vote. [captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation with the united states house of representatives. any use of the closed-captioned coverage of the house proceedings for political or commercial purposes is expressly prohibited by the u.s. house of representatives.]
not adopted. without objection, the motion to reconsider is laid upon the table. the unfinished business is the vote on the motion of the gentleman from ohio, mr. gibbs, to suspend the rhymes and pass h.r. -- rules and pass h.r. 897 as amended on which the yeas and nays are ordered. the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: h.r. 97, a bill to amend the federal insect side, fungicide and rodent side act and the federal water pollution control act to clarify congressional intent regarding deregulation of the use of pesticides in or near navigable waters and for other purposes. the speaker pro tempore: the question is, will the house suspend the rules and pass the bill as amended. members will record their votes by electronic device. this is a five-minute vote. [captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation with the united states house of representatives. any use of the closed-captioned coverage of the house proceedings for political or commercial purposes is expressly prohibited by the u.s. house of representatives.]
the speaker pro tempore: on this vote the yeas are 262, the nays are 159. 2/3 of those not responding in the affirmative, the rules are not suspended and the bill is noes passed. - is not passed. without objection, the chair appoints the following conferees on s. 524. the clerk: with consideration of the senate bill on the house amendments, modifications submitted to the conference, messrs. upton, pitt, lance, guggetry, kinser of illinois, bucshon, brooks of illinois, smith of texas, marino, collins of georgia, trot, bishop of
michigan, mccarthy, pallone, sarbanes, green of texas, conyers. ms. jackson lee, judy chu of california, mr. cohen, ms. esty, u.s.c.ture and mr. courtney from the committee on education and the work force, for consideration of title 7 of the house amendment and modifications committed to the conference, messrs. barletta, carter of georgia and scott of virginia. from the committee on veterans affairs -- veterans' affairs, for consideration of title 3 of the house amendment and modifications committed to s i, rence, mr. bill rack mrs. walorski and mr. ruiz for consideration of section 705 of the senate bill and section 804 of the house amendment and modifications committed to conference, messrs. meehan, dold and mcdermott. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from texas seek recognition? >> mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent that all members have five legislative days in which to iranian their and -- to
revise and extend their remarks and insert extraneous material on h.r. 4909. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. pursuant to house resolution 732 and rule 18, the chair declares the house in the committee of the whole house on the state of the union for consideration of h.r. 4909. the chair appoints the gentleman from idaho, mr. simpson, to preside over the ommittee of the whole. the chair: the house is in the committee of the whole house on the state of the union for the consideration of h.r. 4909 which the clerk will report by title. the clerk: a bill to authorize appropriations for fiscal year 2017 for military activities of the department of defense and for military construction, to prescribe military personnel strength for such fiscal year and for other purposes. the chair: pursuant to the rule, the bill is considered read the first time. the gentleman from texas, mr.
thornberry, and the gentleman from washington, mr. smith, ach will control 30 minutes. the house will be in order. the chair recognizes the gentleman from texas. mr. thornberry: thank you, mr. chairman. mr. chairman, i yield myself such time as i may consume. the chair: the gentleman is recognized. mr. thornberry: mr. chairman, i'm honored to bring to the house today h.r. 4909, the national defense authorization act for fiscal year 2017. the house armed services committee reported it favorably about three weeks ago by a vote of 60-2. now, the only way a vote like that is possible is that members are willing to work together for the best interests of the country and i want to start by thanking my partner on this committee, mr. smith, for his work, his insight and his commitment to working together to try to do the right thing for our service members and for
the good of the nation. i'm sure that he does not agree with everything that is in this bill. and nor do i. it is the product of difficult choices, of cro compromises, of input from many members of this body. but as a whole, i think this bill is good for the troops, good for the country and is faithful to the constitutional responsibilities that we have on our shoulders to provide for the military of the united states and defend the country. i want to thank all the members of the committee, as well as the staff. we had a compressed schedule this year and at the same time the country is facing national security challenges that are growing more complex and more dangerous. and we're still dealing with the consequences of defense budget cuts. coupled with an ambitious reform agenda, all of those things meant that our job was not easy.
but members on both sides of the aisle put in the hours, attended the briefings and hearings, and contributed to this product. this bill was built from the ground up. we started with about 2,000 legislative provisions that were suggested by members of our committee. we then received many additional requests from members who are not on our committee through testimony, through letters and through other forms of communication. for example, some members of the small business committee all came together with a package of proposals to help small businesses contribute to our defense efforts. we had subcommittee markups and then a full committee markup that lasted about 16 hours and considered 248 amendments. now we have more than 370 amendments they've been filed with the rules committee, and many of them will be considered over the next two days on this floor. mr. chairman, i think that is the epitome of a regular
legislative process. and it's particularly appropriate for this bill because providing for the common defense is the first job, i believe, of the federal government. and i would add that service members here and around the world deserve to know that we in this body are doing our job and that we support them and are actually trying to do ob our job, inspired by the courage and dedication and selfless sacrifice that they exhibit in doing their jobs. i want to just highlight two primary thrusts of this bill, in addition to fulfilling our constitutional responsibilities. those thrusts are readiness and reform. the term readiness is often used by the military. it's sometimes not understood by those who are not in the military. readiness involves the preparation and support required to successfully accomplish what the political
leadership asks the military to do. it means having the right number of people for a mission, each of whom is fully trained, has appropriate equipment, and is able to carry out their mission. we've got severe readiness problems today in the united states military. we have pilots who are getting less than half the minimum number of training hours they are supposed to get in order to stay proficient in their airplanes, we are cannibalizing some aircraft just to keep other aircraft flying, we have significant shortages of people in key areas such as pilots and aircraft mechanics. i could go on with examples and statistics which point toward, unfortunately, the kind of hollow military that our country has seen in the past. . there is a high level of frustration among many of our service members. we do not fix all of those problems in this bill, but we
start, we start to turn them around. and to truly turn them around, it means not only providing more resources for operations and maintenance and training accounts, it means we have to deal with personnel accounts and have to deal with modernization accounts. this bill authorizes spending at the same level as requested by the president, $610 billion when you add it all together. personally, i would prefer a higher number, but last year, we saw military funding used as a hostage to get more domestic funding. in fact, the president vetoed this bill once last year to force more domestic spending, the first time that's ever been done. once an agreement was reached, he signed the exact same bill into law with the funding adjustments. i think using the military as a hostage for domestic political leverage is deplorable.
but i want to avoid a repeat of that since president obama is still in the white house. so we used the exact same number, exact same top line as requested by the president. it would be irresponsible for us to turn away and ignore the severe readiness problems that are coming to the floor. and so this bill authorizes funding for several items that the president rejected in the budget proposal that he sent to us. for example, it restores a full cost of living adjustment for our military. it prevents further cuts in the number of people serving. it begins to repair facilities. it adds funds for training and maintenance and makes some progress on replacing outdated weapons systems. so this bill provides full funding for the base requirements for the full year as was agreed in last year's balanced budget geem.
it then provides a bridge fund to pay for the overseas deployments or about half of the new fiscal year. that gives the new president the opportunity to look at the deployments that president obama has begun, look at the funding that he has requested, make adjustments however they think it needs to be adjusted and then come back to congress with their conclusions. that is exactly the approach, mr. chairman, that was used the last time we transitioned between administrations in june of 2008, this body under democratic leadership did exactly what i described with the bridge fund to get into 2009. we are following the same approach this year. now this will bill also contains major reforms. in fact, there are five major reform packages in it all of which is the bipartisan work on the committee and consultation with the department of defense.
those areas just briefly are acquisition reform to make sure we are getting more value for the money we spend and that we get modern technology into the hands of the war fighters. military health care to modernize the system, to provide better care and ensure where the mphasis is supposed to be. put domestic economies sears on self-sustaining track by helping our military. hanges to the 30-year gold water law and the replace the quadrennial review with something less costly and more useful. reform the military code of justice, long overdue spurned by a review that we required in this committee that was prompted
by the sexual assault allegations of recent years. so, mr. chairman, there's a lot here. there is a lot of substance and there's a lot of reform and focused towards two goals, one is to support the men and women who volunteer who risk their lives to protect us and secondly to preserve and protect the national security of the united states of america in a very dangerous world. i believe this bill deserves the support of all members. and i reserve. the chair: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from washington. mr. smith: thank you, mr. chairman. i yield myself five minutes. the chair: the gentleman is recognized. mr. smith: i thank the chairman and staff members for their excellent work in pulling this bill together. as always, it is a fine example of how the legislative process should work around here and too often doesn't. we had a bill before committee and had many, many hearings to discuss the issues around it and a long markup with amendments
offered and debated and put together a bill in a bipartisan fashion that i think was done quite well. there is a lot of good in this bill. there are a lot of efforts at reforming the way we do procurement and other things in the department of defense to get the most out of the money we spend. the good in this bill is that it continues to provide for the men and women of our services who are fighting for us in protecting our national security. and i think it does a very comprehensive job of that. and that is the important issue right now. i will agree with the chairman that we face as complex a threaten virlte as we have probably faced gosh, in the history of the country. we had great national security challenges throughout our history, but now they are coming at us from all dimensions, like groups, al qaeda and daesh. and we have beling rant russia that is creating problems.
we have iran, which continues to pose challenges to us in the middle east. and north korea that is acting in a belligerent manner and china that is creating islands in the south china sea and challenging the territory of other nations. all of those things require us to be prepared and have a robust national security policy. this bill does a good job of it. we are facing a reckoning coming down the road here in those national security challenges that i mentioned are going to be tough to meet under any budget. one of the things i would urge us to do is work more closely with partners throughout the globe as we have in some instances to meet our national security challenges. the sheer cost of them is going to be difficult. but on the whole, i think this bill does a good job of meeting our national security concerns. there are just two problems that i want to point out. number one, we don't really make as many tough choices as we
should make in this bill. the chairman has pointed out how this bill prioritizes readiness and to some agree that is true. but it has $11 million less in money for readiness than the president's budget that was proposed, because we support a wide range of other programs. if you look out over the course of the next 10 years at the programs we are funding and planning on buying and you look at how much money we are likely to have, the two don't add up. we have to start making difficult choices, on what we are going to fund and not fund. related to that is the second problem, the one that the chairman alluded to, while the budget sticks to the $610 billion number that was agreed to in the budget resolution last year, it takes $18 billion out of the overseas contingent fund and puts it into the base budget which means six months into the fiscal year, our troops in afghanistan and iraq and elsewhere will not have the money to support those overseas'
operations unless a supplemental is passed. this was done in 2008. but in 2008, we did not have the budget control act. we did not have the complete unwillingness of this congress though lift the budget control act. i don't see that changing in the next six months. which brings us to the other issue which is holding the defense bill hostage for domestic spending priorities. that's one way of looking at it. the other way of looking at it, a budget is a series of choices you have to make. and if we do spend an additional $18 billion over and above what the budget agreement of last year agreed to, that money has to come from somewhere, either one, it adds to a $19 trillion debt that i think most people feel is too high and we need to get to the point of a balanced budget. it requires new revenue, which i
should be struck down by lightning for mentioning the word however we support the men and women. we are not prepared to raise taxes. and then you have the domestic choices and those are not irrelevant. we have a crumbling infrastructure in this country that is way behind, massively underfunded. we have other priorities. we have the department of homeland security, we have intelligence priorities. all of those priorities are shoved backwards if we take an additional $18 billion for defense. we are not holding defense hostage but arguing about what our budget priorities should be. should we go and take the $610 billion agreement we had for defense and effectively up it to $628 billion at the expense of these other priorities or shouldn't we? that's what we have to balance and i look forward to the debate. there are interesting amendments.
i'm not sure how i'm going to vote on this bill. we need to get it done, but the budget priorities are very real and if we take $18 billion for defense that does shortchange other areas. with that, i reserve. the chair: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from texas. mr. thornberry: i'm pleased to yield one minute to the distinguished majority leader. the chair: the gentleman from california is recognized for one minute. mr. mccarthy: i thank the gentleman for yielding. i want to take one moment, very seldom do we see a bill this significant to come to the floor in such a bipartisan manner. that takes leadership, takes experience and i want to thank the chairman for that. he knows that i trust his judgment, but more importantly, whenever we are talking about national security, he is the first one i call. but i want to take a moment to thank the ranking member as
well. the vote to come out of this committee was 60-2. that shows the leadership on both sides that when america looks at the national security, they want republicans and democrats alike to work together and both of you have shown that leadership and i congratulate you bringing it to the floor in that manner. now, mr. speaker, it is indisputeable that our national security has declined under president obama's watch. terrorists are attacking us right here at home. europe is under siege and yet the president is more focused on closing guantanamo bay and releasing detainees than he is on the real threats to american security. afghanistan is increasingly unstable and the taliban and al qaeda are imagining ground. yet president obama remains committed to withdrawing our troops while constraining their ability to take the fight to the enemy. these are just two examples and
i don't need to go through the whole list. just look at the map of the world and what do you see? allies who have been slighted. enemies that have been appeased, lieges that have fallen into conflict and chaos. the obama administration is not the direct cause of every problem, but the president's inadequate response and naive belief and failures of leadership have put american interests at risk and made our country less safe. now, house republicans have always been and remain committed to a strong american military. an active foreign policy and continued american leadership in the world. we must counter the terrorist threats forcefully and reaffirm and strengthen our strategic alliances like nato. we must engage and prevent and
not retrench and respond. this national defense authorization act demonstrates our commitment by prioritizing funding to support more troops. better defenses and better equipment. most importantly, this bill works to improve readiness and ensures that our men and women are prepared to go into battle. the president has fought this approach and has said he will veto this bill as it currently stands. that's despite a 2.1% pay raise for our troops. better resources for the war fighter and an aggressive stance against russian expansion and funding for israeli missile defense. this is the height of irresponsibility. what this bill, the house makes it clear that we intend to reinvigorate the department of defense, take care of our men and women in uniform, stand with your allies and make every possible effort to defeat global
extremism. the president should share these goals and sign this bill. i yield back. the chair: the gentleman from washington. mr. smith: i now yield three minutes to the gentlelady from california, ms. sanchez. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized -- chairman, the gentlelady is recognized for three minutes. ms. sanchez: i would like to thank mr. turner for the past four years chairing with he being the chairman and i being the ranking member of the subcommittee for tactical land and air force. . . this is a must-pass bill. we've passed it for the past 53 years. i'm really honored to have been a part of it for the past 20. the annual piece of law that
puts the necessary resources and funding to ensure that our service members are fully equipped and trained and -- to defend our country here and abroad. and all of our military systems, air, land, water, space, are authorized by this legislation. it provides new opportunities for the department of defense to engage in innovative research and development, to ensure that america has the most technologically advanced military. and of course that also bleeds over into the civilian world with all of our new technologies. the n.d.a. makes sure that service members and their families are provided with necessary support and resources as they sacrifice their lives to defend their country. just last friday, i had the opportunity to be in erie, pennsylvania, where our son was commissioned as a second lieutenant, an officer into the u.s. army artillery. pretty excited to continue to
support our military families. because we are one. this bill also provides provisions to support women in the military, making equipment that actually fits them, for example. and we put in language for parental leave for our service members for up to 14 days. it increases funding for nuclear nonproliferation, something which i am an adamant supporter of trying to eliminate nuclear threats for the future for our grandchildren. and their children. it increases funding for k-12 stem education, because, again, we have to invest in our future and the future of education is equal to our national security. the legislation also provides funding and resources to counter terrorism, including those threats from isil. on our particular subcommittee,
we included some significant oversight legislation, everybody thinks about passing laws, but the reality is that one of the main things that we have to do as members of congress is to oversee what is really happening in programs and with the money of our taxpayers. so we included the f-35 joint strike fiver -- fighter software oversight, the f-18 super hornet oxygen system, and a multiyear procurement authority for the army's helicopters. however, the successful passage of this important legislation is at risk. because, first, it doesn't comply with the republicans' budget control act. because it's $18 billion over the budget caps. and secondly, it includes a number of discriminatory provisions such as language that would allow government contractors to discriminate against the lgbt community. so there are many things that we need to do to ensure that
this bill can be in a bipartisan way passed by this house. and i yield back. the chair: the gentleman from texas. mr. thornberry: mr. chairman, i'm pleased to yield two minutes to the chairman of the subcommittee on sea power and projection forces, the gentleman from virginia, mr. forbes. the chair: the gentleman from virginia is recognized for two minutes. mr. forbes: thank you, mr. chairman. i rise in support of the national defense authorization act for fiscal year 2017. i want to first commend the leadership of chairman thornberry in bringing this bill to the floor. his leadership has been instrumental in tackling many of the tough issues this committee has had to address. i'm particularly impressed with the chairman's leadership to make sure that this congress provides the required equipment and readiness that will begin to turn some disconcerning -- disconcerting trend lines with our national security. for example, aviation has only three and 10 navy jet aircraft that are fully mission capable. aircraft care remembers are --
carriers are not sufficient in -- available in sufficient quantities. navy ship deployments have increased to almost 40%, and submarine demand continues to outpace availability, with the navy projecting they will meet only 42% of the combatant commander's demands. this is before we reduced another 20% of our submarines by the end of 2020's. as to the air force, our b-1 fleet was pulled back from the arabian gulf this year because of engine maintenance issues and replaced with b-52's that are over 50 years old. and in the last four years, we've reduced our tactical airlift by 20%. i think everyone would agree that these are disturbing trends, it's time that we invest in these capabilities. this bill goes a long way to reversing this trajectory and authorizes funds to meet the 350-ship navy that our nation needs. i believe it's our national security imperative to arrest the decline of our projection forces, and i urge my colleagues to support the national defense authorization act for fiscal year 2017.
and with that, mr. chairman, i yield back. the chair: the gentleman from washington. mr. smith: thank you, mr. chairman. i'll yield three minutes to the gentleman from rhode island, ranking member of the emerging threats capability subcommittee, mr. langevin. the chair: the gentleman from rhode island is recognized for three minutes. mr. langevin: i thank the gentleman for yielding. i want to thank chairman thornberry and ranking member smith and our fellow colleagues on the committee this year on many important issues within the committee's jurisdiction, which were found in this bill, which i've been proud to work with my colleagues. as ranking member of the emerging threats and subcommittee, i want to thank my subcommittee colleagues, particularly my colleague, joe wilson, chairman of the subcommittee, it's been a pleasure to work with him. so i also want to take this opportunity to recognize members of the staff who worked so hard on this bill, without
whom we'd be able to move legislation of this magnitude forward. the legislation, mr. chairman, before us today continues to address critical priorities and programs at the strategic, operational and tactical levels when had it comes to emerging threats and capabilities. i'm pleased with many provisions relating to game-changing technologies, such as language addressing how to properly operationalize directed energy technologies, electromagnetic rail gun mount funding, electronic warfare capabilities, strategy requirements, and a point person within d.o.d. for directed energy systems. this legislation goes on also to prioritize readiness of the cybermission force, and sfullfuly supports u.s. cybercommand while elevating this entity to its own combatant command. this enhances our superiority in the cyberdomain and i'm glad the committee recognized the -- recognized the need to take this vital step. i'm also pleased to be -- with
the approach we took toward enhancing capabilities and extending thords -- authorities to defeat nonstate actors like isil and al qaeda. i'm also pleased with the continued support of our special operations forces and their families, where under the responsibility of the subcommittee, and those forces which are always at the pointing tip of the spear. although this bill moves the ball forward on policies vital to our national defense, of course it is far from perfect. we must address the -- we must continue to address the funding issues in other areas of concern as we move forward in the process. in closing, i want to thank all the members of the subcommittee, as well as the members of the full committee, the armed services committee, for their support during this markup. i again commend chairman thornberry and ranking member smith for their leadership. and i look forward to our continued work together to craft the final product with the senate that provides further support for our men and women in uniform, our military families, and further strengthens our national
security. with that i thank you and i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman from texas. mr. thornberry: mr. chairman, i'm pleased to yield two minutes to the chairman of the subcommittee on emerging threats and capabilities, the gentleman from south carolina, mr. wilson. the chair: the gentleman from south carolina is recognized for two minutes. mr. wilson: thank you, mr. chairman, for your efforts to promote peace through strength. i am grateful to support h.r. 4909, the national defense authorization act for fiscal year 2017, which i believe faithfully sets forth a path to recover and strengthen our military readiness. as chairman of the subcommittee on emerging threats and capabilities of the house armed services committee, i'm particularly appreciative to oversee some of the most innovative aspects of the department of defense. a few key areas of the subcommittee's contributions to this legislation are providing robust and resilient cybercapabilities and authorities to improve our cyberreadiness and ensure resiliency for the department of defense networks and weapons systems. we support innovative science and technology programs and
authorities to meet future challenges. we fully resource and support our special operation forces who remain at war and globally postured, supporting our national security and the global war on terrorism the and we extend vital counterterrorism authorities while improving congressional oversight in this very important area. again, i would like to thank chairman thornberry for his steadfast leadership, as well as the subcommittee ranking member, mr. langevin of rhode island, who has been an energetic partner on these issues, with an extraordinary subcommittee staff. i urge my colleagues to support this bill and vote yes on h.r. 4909. i yield back. the chair: the gentleman from washington. mr. smith: thank you, mr. chairman. i now yield three minutes to the ranking member of the readiness subcommittee, the gentlelady from guam. the chair: the gentlelady from guam is recognized for three minutes. ms. bordallo: thank you, mr. speaker. i commend chairman thornberry, ranking member smith, and the committee staff who have worked
many, many long nights on the f.y. 2017 national defense authorization act. i worked with mr. smith and members on the committee, particularly readiness chairman , mr. rob wittman, to include a number of provisions that will improve our military readiness and continue to support the asia-pacific rebalance, allowing crucial infrastructure projects to move forward and requiring the navy to report on land usage on guam. thank will have positive impacts -- that will have positive impacts for our posture in this region. the bill provides critical funding to the long range strike bomber program, as well as adds additional funding to keep the fielding of the program on track. and i especially want to thank ranking member smith for working to get a provision mandating a review of distinguished asian american and pacific islander veterans who may have been unjustly overlooked in the medal of honor consideration included in the chairman's mark. it's important that we
appropriately recognize their contributions and those of the brave men and women in uniform. while i am proud of these and other provisions, this bill is far from perfect. there are once again numerous damaging environmental provisions and more broadly i am disappointed that the majority has again created a bill that circumvents budget caps, a maneuver that places politics with -- plays politics with our service members in the field, particularly reckless in this environment. i look forward to working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to address these and other concerns and i hope common sense will prevail as this process continues. mr. speaker, i yield back. the chair: the gentleman from texas. mr. thornberry: mr. chairman, i'm pleased to yield two minutes to the subcommittee chairman on tactical, air and land forces, the gentleman from ohio. the chair: the gentleman is recognized. mr. turner: thank you, mr. chairman. i rise in support of the national defense authorization act for fiscal year 2017.
as the chairman has indicated, the president has issued a veto threat on this bill. claiming criticism that the bill uses overseas contingency operations funds for base requirements. this is a hypocritical attack by the president because the president in his own bill included $5 billion in overseas contingency operations funding to be used for base requirements as part of the president's budget for 2017. the reality is that $5 billion is not enough to address the readiness crisis that is facing our military. and it does not ensure that our troops are ready to deploy and are fully prepared. the military in fact submitted $22 billion in unfunded requirements for fiscal year 2017 alone. i want to thank chairman thornberry and his leadership, as he begins the process of rebuilding our military and restoring readiness back into the future. this bill came out of our committee 60-2. it's the same bill that's going to come to this house floor. i certainly hope we're not in a situation where we had democrats on the committee that
actually voted for the bill in committee and voted against the bill on the house floor like last year. this is a bill that deserves passage, it deserves the support for our men and women in uniform. and my subcommittee, the bill authorizes almost $6 billion in additional funds to address critical unfunded requirements identified by the military services. i want to also thank chairman thornberry in this bill for reversing the president's proposed cuts to our end strength, our numbers of those serving in the army and marine corps, he's incorporated the posture act that was first introduced by representative gibson. the bill also includes funds for the european reassurance initiative which is incredibly important as we move to respond against russian aggression. additionally, this bill calls for continued action to eradicate sexual assault in the military and i appreciate the chairman's support for those provisions. the bill provides greater transparency in the military criminal justice system, acknowledges the need for intensive treatment for male victims of sexual assault and continues to address the critical issue of retaliation. before i conclude, i want to thank our subcommittee's ranking member for her support
in completing the markup of this bill, as well as that of other members. i want to thank ms. sanchez for her long service in the armed services committee. and with that i would ask everyone to support this bill. i yield back. the chair: the chair would emind members to reframe -- to refrain from personalities toward the president. the gentleman from washington. . smith: mr. smith: i yeed three minutes to the gentleman from connecticut, mr. courtney. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for three minutes. mr. courtney: i support the sea power portion of the defense bill, which is a strong bipartisan boost to our security on, and below the seas. this is the largest maritime contacts that we are considering the programs. demand for our naval fleet is higher than ever and so is the strain on the force.
china's navy is militarizing the south china sea completely in violation of maritime law and russia is recapitalizing its fleet and operating at a level not seen since the corled war. these are two challenges that the navy faces every single day. the sea power portion of our bill builds on the work done by the navy, the obama station and this congress to put us on a path to a 308-ship navy. we need to do more to ensure we have the capability to keep pace with the going and changing threats. this bill adds three new ships, a thirdly toreal combat ship. funding to have a destroyer and resources to add an amphibious ship. the bill has another area of good bipartisan work is in the area of our underseas' forces.
it includes a measure that i pushed forward to continue a build rate through the 20 20's to provide the capabilities that our leaders are pleading for. and funds the ohio replacement submarine and continue our bipartisan work to strengthen the fund to support this program outside of the regular ship building account. we provide this fund with new authorities to save additional funds during the course of building the ohio class program, perhaps as much as 10% on components like missile tubes on top of the billions of savings that were shown to garner in the congressional budget research office. this is a downpayment on the additional naval capabilities and capacity that we will need to keep pace with the fast changing security challenges around the globe and i'm confident that we'll emerge in the final enactment of the 2017 ndaa and i yield back.
the chair: the gentleman from texas. mr. thornberry: i yield two minutes to the chairman of the subcommittee on strategic forces, the gentleman from alabama, mr. rogers. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for two minutes. mr. rogers: i thank the chairman in bringing this bill. this is a bill needed to manage nd we have a critical set of funding challenges. and this is to achieve the bipartisan budget act of 2015. we in congress must exercise our constitutional duty to provide for the men and women in uniform. and we must provide oversight to the department of defense and the department of energy. this bill includes a number of key provisions that were offered by the subcommittee of strategic forces and it consolidates the forces regarding our missile
warning systems. enhances the authority of the department of defense and the department of energy to mitigate threats from unmanned aircraft at its most sensitive nuclear facilities. it prohibits the d.o.e. funding for russia. the space threat by providing the necessary resources to buildup our space security and defense capabilities and by ensuring the department is organized properly and has the capabilities it needs to maintain our space advantage long into the future. it makes clear the replacement in the rd-180 and it's the goal to maintain assured access to space and protecting the taxpayers and ending our reliance on the russian rocket engine. -- and res the army
most significantly to me in this bill, we have recommended to the chairman a significant increase over $400 million, focusing on r&d and full funding for our allies, $600 million for co-production and co-development of iron dome. i thank the chairman for his leadership and i thank my colleague, mr. jim cooper. i couldn't ask for a better ranking member. i urge support of the bill and i yield back. the chair: the gentleman from washington. mr. smith: i now yield three minutes to the ranking member of the strategic forces subcommittee, jsm tennessee, mr. cooper. the chair: the gentleman is recognized. mr. cooper: i thank the ranking member and the chairman and mr. rogers. all the members of the subcommittee contributed greatly to the final product. it's not to all of our liking, but we are making progress.
we agree on so many of the fundamental provisions having to do with national security. i'm thankful that our safe, secure and effective nuclear deterrent is fully funded and providing full support for our nuclear nonproliferation efforts as well as providing for nuclear cleanup. those are important efforts. the bill also provides a very robust missile defense, including and not only protecting the homeland but our allies and partners such as the $600 million for israeli missile defense of the it funds the national security space programs and makes some very important adjustments including and ensuring that we support acquisition of satellite communication services. there are a few provisions of the bill that i strongly oppose, such as restricting dismantlement of obsolete nuclear weapons. also, i think it was a mistake
to mandate and poorly thought out, unaffordable and unrealistic missile defense policy, including plans for a space-based missile deterrent. i continue to oppose these provisions in conference. but i would like to reiterate my thanks to chairman rogers, my friend from alabama. it's a pleasure to work with him and other subcommittee members. and i yield back. the chair: the gentleman from texas. mr. thornberry: i'm pleased to yield two minutes to the distinguished chairman of the subcommittee on readiness, the gentleman from virginia, mr. wittman. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for two minutes. mr. wittman: i thank the chairman and the ranking member for all of their efforts and chairman thornberry, over the past few months, you have highlighted the challenges and budget choices we are facing and the reality is that these zigs we make here will affect the strength of our national security for years to come.
the american people are concerned and why shouldn't they be. the readiness obstacles force our military leaders choose between training and supporting our men and women who are already fighting on the front lines. we have heard media reports that aircraft mechanics have attempted to strip parts from museum pieces to keep our fighters and bombers flying. we have heard testimony from each of our service branches about how critical it us for us to address the military readiness shortfalls. today we are called to address these maintenance and readiness issues. that is our constitutional duty. i believe that this bill will move us towards that end goal of restoring spectrum readiness. this bill prohibits the department of brac in the absence of an end strength assessment and streamline the
civilian hiring practices so gaps can be filled. most importantly, this bill also includes more than $5 billion in additional funds for, among other things, ships and aircraft, depot maintenance, and long neglected restoration and modernization accounts. our military is supported by the finest men and women in the world and they deserve our support in return. at the same time, i would like to note that these recommendations don't fully alleviate my concerns about our readiness shortfalls. here in washington, we need to make sure we understand what's at stake and how the choices we make affect those who serve and sacrifice on our behalf. we have to continue to focus on readiness and make sure we man, train and equip our forces so they can meet the challenges on the horizon with the confidence
and superiority we have come to expect. i ask the members of the house to support this national defense authorization act and vote yes. with that, i yield back. the chair: the gentleman from washington. mr. smith: may i inquire how much time each side has? the chair: the gentleman from washington has 13 1/2 minutes and the gentleman from texas has 11 minutes. mr. smith: i yield four minutes to the the gentlewoman from california, mrs. davis. the chair: the gentlelady is recognized. mr. davis: i would like to recognize chairman thornberry and ranking member smith during this process. the bill includes many provisions that will provide the flexibility to recruit and maintain members of our armed forces and to continue our commitment to taking care of military families. one provision of -- that we have expands parental leave to 1 days as well as expanding adoption
leave for dual married couples to 36 days to be split between them and requires the d.o.d. study flexibility maternity and paternity leave sharing for our dual military couples. this bill includes reforms that will put the economies commissary on a sustainable path and begins to reform and modernize the military health care system. although we would all agree it's not perfect, this bill is long needed to start ensuring that our service members, retirees and fair families receive the best health care in the world. important issues were addressed in this bill and i support many of the reforms and the hard work that went into them. however, i am extremely concerned with how this bill is funded. i applaud the chairman to increase funds for end strength, modernization and the operations
and maintenance accounts, but the $18 billion required comes from the overseas' contingency fund and cuts resources for our troops. this would require the next congress to pass a supplemental before may and that assumes current operations don't increase. what programs do we cut mid-year to find that level of funding? this gimmick would create the hollow force and hedge their bets to maintain the end strength authorized to be available in 2018. the world we know is very dangerous in many places and the pace of combat operations will most likely not diminish in the near future. in light of these dangers, i do not disagree that the army may need more soldiers, but the army has not requested -- requested with the appropriate number.
and lastly, this ndaa passed out of committee continues to expand on congress' efforts for women to serve their nation by requiring women to register. this was only possible because the department of defense after several years of review opened the last remaining combat positions to women this year. the rule for the ndaa strikes the provision without debate. i understand that we aren't always going to be in agreement and that's why we debate and vote issues on the house floor but resort to gimmicks is unconscionable. this is an issue that congress must debate and vote on. i look forward to continuing to work with the chairman and the rest of the committee to ensure we resource our military services in a responsible manner so we can face the challenges of today and tomorrow. thank you, mr. chairman. the chair: the gentleman from
texas. mr. thornberry: i yield two minutes to the chair of oversight and investigations subcommittee, mrs. hartzler. mrs. hartzler: i rise in support of our national defense. there are stark realities we must face in increased and emerging threats from around the globe combined with military readiness. in the face of these challenges, we have a choice. either continue to let our military capabilities wither as our adverse sears grow stronger or recognize the changing global ndscape and make sure they keep us safe. the latter, mr. speaker is what this defense authorization does. from addressing the strike fighter shortfall with 14 additional f-18's to provide for maintenance, equipment and facilities so museum aircraft don't have to be cannibalized,
and we have listened to the services and our commanders. they know what they need to do their jobs, keep us safe and retain their people. this bill addresses shortfalls in training and provides for the modernization of critical national security programs. it makes sure soldiers are prepared at all of our bases including at the army maneuver support center for excellence in my district. it ensures aircraft like the b-2 can project power and the spirit of america around the globe. mr. speaker, this authorization takes care of our troops, ensures the safety of american people and fulfills our constitutional obligation to provide for the common defense. i commend chairman thornberry, my house armed services colleagues and the staff for their leadership and i urge my colleagues to vote yes on this responsible authorization. i yield back.
the chair: the gentleman from. the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from texas. mr. thornberry: i'm pleased to yield two minutes to the distinguished chairman of the subcommittee on military personnel, the gentleman from nevada, who is both a doctor and a general in the reserves. dr. heck. the chair: the gentleman from nevada is recognized for two minutes. mr. heck: thank you, mr. speaker. thank you, mr. chairman. i rise in strong support for h.r. 4909, the national defense authorization act of 2017. this bill contains significant policy and funding initiatives that continue our commitment to maintaining military personnel and family readiness and address important issues for our troops. to that end, this bill establishes a fully funded pay raise for all our service members, after three years of executive action providing lower than bylaw calculated pay raises, the time we give our troops and their families the pay increase they deserve. it stops the reductions in the active end strengths of the armed forces, thereby
increasing readiness while reducing the stress and strain on the force and their families. reforms the military health care system, to ensure the system can sustain trained ready and health care providers, to support the readiness of the force and provide a quality health care benefit valued by its beneficiaries. it also modernizes the uniform code of military justice, to improve the system's efficiency and transparency, while also enhancing victims' rights. this includes establishing several new offenses, including an offense prohibiting retaliation, and prohibiting inappropriate relationships between military recruits or trainees, and a person in position of special trust. it reforms the comsear system in a way that preserves this important benefit while also improving the system so it remains an excellent value for the shoppers and a good value for the taxpayer. it includes an increase in parental adoptive leave for dual military couples in recognition of the importance of bondsing time between parents and their newly adopted children. in conclusion, i want to thank
the ranking member, mrs. davis, and her staffer for their contributions to the mark and support in this very bipartisan process. we were join by a group of subcommittee members and their recommendations and priorities are clearly reflected in this bill. additionally, i appreciate the dedication and hard work of the subcommittee staff. i urge my colleagues to support our military men and women, their families, and support this bill. and i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman from washington. mr. smith: we continue to reserve. the chair: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from texas. mr. thornberry: mr. chairman, i'm pleased to yield two minutes to the gentleman who is a member of the committee and also continues to be active in the air national guard, the gentleman from oklahoma, mr. bridenstine. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for two minutes. mr. bridenstine: thank you, mr. chairman. mr. speaker, this defense authorization makes a huge down payment on the readiness of our forces. as a combat veteran, i have participated in the inner deployment training cycles, getting ready to deploy.
i've seen the force regeneration process, i've seen it during good times and i've seen it during bad times. personally, as a navy reservist most recently, i saw a very steep decline in readiness when my squadron got eliminated. we got completely eliminated when i was a navy reservist. we busted about $2 billion worth of cocaine every year on the high seas. now that cocaine comes into the country and $2 billion worth of cash funds transnational criminal organizations in northern mexico and central and south america. that is what happens when we have defense cuts the way we have had recently. in fact, i will tell you that our remaining forces still face significant shortfalls amend disruptions to time tested training and deployment cycles. the tempo back home is almost more intense than an overseas deployment. but the resources are simply not available. pilots are flying the bear
minimum flight hours to stay -- bare minimum flight hours to stay qualified and our depots can't keep up. as a war fighter, i can attest that this will break our force. the important thing about this bill, this defense authorization, and, mr. chairman, it's why i'm so grateful for your leadership and the bipartisan support that we have from the ranking member, mr. smith, this bill makes a huge down payment on the readiness that is required to make sure that the force we have remaining is not hollow. which is critically important to the national security of this country. i urge my colleagues to support this bill and i yield back. the chair: the gentleman from washington. mr. smith: thank you. continue to reserve. the chair: the gentleman from texas. mr. thornberry: mr. chairman, i'm pleased to yield one minute to the distinguished vice chairman of the committee on readiness, the gentlelady from new york, ms. stefanik. the chair: the gentlelady from new york is recognized for one minute. ms. stefanik: thank you, mr. chairman. i am proud of the bipartisan work of the house armed
services committee on the f.y. 2017 national defense authorization act. this legislation takes important steps to strengthen our defense capabilities and gives our armed forces the resources they need to keep us safe. importantly, this bill works to stop the funding gaps that are harming our military's readiness, and it includes a much deserved pay raise for our troops. this bill also contains an important initiative to ensure our land forces will not be depleted, and some of my own initiatives, the creation of a d.o.d. social media cell, to coubletter radical online recruitment -- counter radical online recruitment and maintain an edge. it includes energy capabilities between the united states and israel. i am proud to support this legislation which passed in committee by a bipartisan vote of 60-2, and urge my colleagues to vote in favor of this vital bill on the floor. i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman from washington. mr. smith: thank you, mr. chair. we continue to reserve. we don't have any more
speakers. are you -- the chair: the gentleman from washington has 10 minutes remaining. the gentleman from texas has four minutes remaining. mr. smith: you're prepared to close? then i yield myself the balance of the time. i thank you, mr. chairman. i want to reiterate some of the points that were made during the debate, in the beginning, of how important this bill is. we do have many national security needs. i know that, you know, you see the size of the department of defense budget, there are certainly ways we can save money. i think we've done that. with acquisition reform and some of the other reforms that are contained in this bill. but it's also important to understand that the threats that we face -- to understand the threats that we face in the world. the continuing threat of terrorism, the continuing threats from nations like russia, iran, north korea and china. and we need to be prepared to counter those threats if we are going to have a peaceful and stable world. nonetheless, i think we still have the budget problem that i alluded to earlier. and that is that we do not have the money that we would like to have. the not just for defense.
it's for a lot of -- it's not just for defense. it's for a lot of domestic priorities as well. the way this bill is set up, it creates the possibility that we'll take an additional $18 billion for defense and how does that balance against our other priorities? we have to figure out how to make our budget balance. and meet the priorities domestically, while also meeting the national security priorities. because our infrastructure is critical to our national security as well. we have to remain strong economically as a country. and in addition to, that it's not just the department of defense that provides for our security. the department of homeland security, certainly in the intelligence budget, the department of treasury, department of justice, a lot of pieces to that puzzle are necessary and they all get short changed if we don't take into account their needs as well. with that i will yield the balance of our time. thank you. the chair: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from texas. mr. thornberry: mr. chairman, i yield myself the balance of our time. the chair: the gentleman is recognized. mr. thornberry: thank you, mr. chairman. as usual, i largely agree with many of the comments made by
mr. smith. i think he is exactly right when he discusses the many complex, dangerous threats that face the united states at this point. and i think he's also right that we all have to put the federal budget, but especially the military budget, on a more stable, predictable footing. absolutely agree with him on those points. at the same time we have an immediate need where lives are at stake. let me just offer, mr. chairman, the fact that the air force is currently short 4,000 maintainers and more than 700 pilots. in -- another fact. in fiscal year 2015, nate i have had a backlog -- the navy had a backlog of 11 planes in depot. in fiscal year 2017 they're going to have 278 planes backlogged in the navy depots.
less than 1/3 of the army is now ready to meet the requirements of the defense strategic guidance. now, we can't just turn away and say, oh, we don't like this budget approach and so we're willing to live with all of those problems. we have to deal with them, so that's what this bill tries to do. by the way, mr. chairman, if we take away the $18 billion that we tried to put to readiness issues, then a lot of the things that the members have asked for go away. i have before me, for example, a letter signed by a number of house and senate members that asks for new blackhawks this year. well, the fact is the president did not request any blackhawks in his budget request. currently too many of our military folks are flying blackhawks that were made in 1979. they can't get the parts for
them. they can't even fly them in a lot of circumstances because of the restrictions on these helicopters. so, we look to the army's unfunded requirements list, the things they would like to have, that were stripped out by the administration, and we put into this bill 36 new blackhawks. that's the way you deal with a lot of these readiness problems, you replace a 1979 helicopter with a 2016 helicopter. we do that in this bill. but if we take away the approach that we have here to meet the readiness requirements, all those blackhawks go away. i've also got letters from members who asked for the third combat ship. we were only able to do that because of the $18 billion. i've got a letter signed by a number of members to increase u.s.-israeli cooperative missile defense. again, if our approach, which some people on the other side are critical of, if that's not used, those fundings go away. they don't just come out of the
air. so my point, mr. chairman, is that we've got an immediate problem. this bill tries to deal with the immediate problem that is effecting the men and women who serve our country today. is it perfect? of course not. but i have yet to hear a better alternative that meets these needs and can pass the house. so, the other point, mr. chairman, just to reiterate, this is exactly the same approach that was used in the last administration. it is curious to me that some people who wanted to give president obama a chance of a fresh look, of the deployments which he found when he came into office, now want to deny the same possibility for the next president, whoever he or she may be. we take exactly the approach that was used under speaker pelosi, majority leader harry reid, in 2008, and we apply it to the next transition. i think that's what makes sense, because that is what
enables us to deal today with the readiness problems that threaten our military. i hope all members will support this bill and i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. all time for general debate has expired. pursuant to the rule, the bill shall be considered for amendment under the five-minute rule. in lieu of the amendment in the nature of a substitute recommended by the committee on armed services printed in the bill, an amendment in the nature of a substitute consisting of the text of the rules committee print 114-51, modified by the amendment printed in part a of house report 114-569, shall be considered as adopted. the bill as amended shall be considered as the original bill for the purposes of further amendment under the five-minute rule and shall be considered as read. no further amendment to the bill as amended shall be in order except those printed in part b of the report and amendments en bloc described in section 3 of house resolution 732. each further amendment printed in part b of the report shall order idered only in the
printed in the report, time equally controlled by the proponent and opponent, shall not be subject for demand of division of the country. it shall be in order for the chair of the committee on armed services or his designee to offer an amendments en bloc consisting of amendments printed in part b of the report, not earlier disposed of. amendments en bloc shall be considered as read. shall be debatable for 20 minutes equally divided and controlled by the chair and ranking minority member of the committee on armed services, or their he isingny. shall not be subject to amendment and shall not be subject to demands for the division of the question. it is now in order to consider amendment number 1 printed in part b of house report 114-569. for what purpose does the gentleman from texas seek recognition? the clerk will designate the amendment. the clerk: amendment number 1 printed in part b of house report 114-569 offered by mr. thornberry of texas. the chair: the gentleman from
texas and a member opposed each will control five minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from texas. mr. thornberry: mr. chairman, i yield myself such time as i may consume. the chair: the gentleman is recognized. mr. thornberry: mr. chairman, i appreciate the opportunity to offer this amendment which i do not believe is controversial. mr. chairman, one of the many parts of this bill on which members on both sides of the aisle have contributed is to try to improve our acquisition system. partly to get more value out of the money -- the taxpayer money that is spent, and partly to try to get technology into the field, into the hands of our war fighters faster. because technology evolves and the threats evolve so quickly. we have consulted with folks in the pentagon and the industry to make improvements in this part of the bill this amendment