4:26 PM EDT

Doc Hastings, R-WA 4th

Mr. HASTINGS of Washington. Mr. Speaker, House Resolution 580 is a closed rule providing for the consideration of House Joint Resolution 122, making further continuing appropriations for the fiscal year 2003, and for other purposes.

The rule provides 1 hour of debate in the House, equally divided and controlled by the chairman and ranking minority member of the Committee on Appropriations. The rule waives all points of order against consideration of the joint resolution, and provides one motion to recommit.

Mr. Speaker, House Joint Resolution 122 makes further continuing appropriations for the fiscal year 2003 and provides for funding at current levels. We had agreed in the Committee on Rules that this would be through November 22.

At the conclusion of the debate on this, by consent on both sides there will be an amendment offered to change that date of November 22 to October 18, 2000, a week from tomorrow. This measure is necessary in order that all necessary and vital functions of government may continue uninterrupted until Congress completes the work on the spending measures for the next fiscal year.

Mr. Speaker, I urge my colleagues to pass the rule, as we will amend it, and of course the underlying resolution.

Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.

4:28 PM EDT

Sue Myrick, R-NC 9th

Mrs. MYRICK. Mr. Speaker, for the purposes of debate only, I yield the customary 30 minutes to the gentleman from Massachusetts (Mr. McGovern), pending which I yield myself such time as I may consume. During consideration of this resolution, all time yielded is for the purposes of debate only.

Mr. Speaker, the rule waives all points of order against the conference report to accompany H.R. 5011, Military Construction Appropriations Act of Fiscal Year 2003, and against its consideration. The rule provides that the conference report shall be considered as read.

Mr. Speaker, I find this bill very timely and of the utmost importance since this morning the House voted to authorize the use of the United States Armed Forces against Iraq. We are asking a lot of our military today. Our military personnel on active duty know that they may very well be deployed overseas and perhaps on dangerous missions. So we want to provide them a quality of life for themselves and for their families that will allow them to serve, knowing that their families will be taken

care of in good housing and with good health care.

[Time: 16:30]

H.R. 5011 recognizes the dedication and commitment of our troops by providing for their most basic needs, improved military facilities, including housing and medical facilities.

Mr. Speaker, we must honor the most basic commitments we have made to the men and women of our Armed Forces. We must ensure reasonable quality of life to recruit and retain the best and the brightest to America's fighting forces. Most importantly, we must do all in our power to ensure a strong, able, dedicated American military so that this Nation may stay ever vigilant, ever prepared.

H.R. 5011 provides nearly $1.2 billion for barracks and $151 million for hospital and medical facilities for troops and their families. It also provides $2.87 billion to operate and maintain existing housing units and $1.34 billion for new housing units.

Military families also have a tremendous need for quality child care, as do other people in the country, especially single parents and families in which one or both parents may face lengthy deployments. To help meet this need, the bill provides $18 million for child development centers.

Mr. Speaker, earlier today we passed the resolution to authorize the President to use military force against Iraq, if necessary, so now it is time for Congress to keep its promise to our Armed Forces. To that end, I urge my colleagues to support this rule and to support the conference report.

Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.

4:28 PM EDT

Sue Myrick, R-NC 9th

Mrs. MYRICK. Mr. Speaker, for the purposes of debate only, I yield the customary 30 minutes to the gentleman from Massachusetts (Mr. McGovern), pending which I yield myself such time as I may consume. During consideration of this resolution, all time yielded is for the purposes of debate only.

Mr. Speaker, the rule waives all points of order against the conference report to accompany H.R. 5011, Military Construction Appropriations Act of Fiscal Year 2003, and against its consideration. The rule provides that the conference report shall be considered as read.

Mr. Speaker, I find this bill very timely and of the utmost importance since this morning the House voted to authorize the use of the United States Armed Forces against Iraq. We are asking a lot of our military today. Our military personnel on active duty know that they may very well be deployed overseas and perhaps on dangerous missions. So we want to provide them a quality of life for themselves and for their families that will allow them to serve, knowing that their families will be taken

care of in good housing and with good health care.

[Time: 16:30]

H.R. 5011 recognizes the dedication and commitment of our troops by providing for their most basic needs, improved military facilities, including housing and medical facilities.

Mr. Speaker, we must honor the most basic commitments we have made to the men and women of our Armed Forces. We must ensure reasonable quality of life to recruit and retain the best and the brightest to America's fighting forces. Most importantly, we must do all in our power to ensure a strong, able, dedicated American military so that this Nation may stay ever vigilant, ever prepared.

H.R. 5011 provides nearly $1.2 billion for barracks and $151 million for hospital and medical facilities for troops and their families. It also provides $2.87 billion to operate and maintain existing housing units and $1.34 billion for new housing units.

Military families also have a tremendous need for quality child care, as do other people in the country, especially single parents and families in which one or both parents may face lengthy deployments. To help meet this need, the bill provides $18 million for child development centers.

Mr. Speaker, earlier today we passed the resolution to authorize the President to use military force against Iraq, if necessary, so now it is time for Congress to keep its promise to our Armed Forces. To that end, I urge my colleagues to support this rule and to support the conference report.

Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.

4:34 PM EDT

Sheila Jackson-Lee, D-TX 18th

Ms. JACKSON-LEE of Texas. Mr. Speaker, first of all, let me say I rise to support this rule and previously rose by way of my vote to support the defense appropriations and the rule. I thank the Chair Mr. HOBSON and ranking member Mr. OLVER for their good work.

However, it is interesting that we would discuss this particular rule in the shadow of our recent vote dealing with the question of the decision of whether or not this Nation should go to war. I do believe that it is important for those of us who support our United States military to ensure better housing conditions and better pay and improve their quality of life issues, should make it very clear--we are concerned about a strong military.

Just recently, I was able to travel to Guantanamo Bay. I have seen the work that we do to enhance the living conditions of our troops, and I do want to thank the committee whose responsibility it is to do that.

Likewise, having recently returned from Afghanistan, I saw the frontline troops doing their job. That is why I [Page: H7813]

think it is very important that, as we leave this body, that we realize that those of us who had a differing opinion on the question of going to war realize the sacred responsibility that we had and realize that, as the President is the Commander-in-Chief, that we who might have opposition stand with the people of the United States to ensure

our security, but, at the same time, reflect upon the importance of the Constitution that says only Congress can declare war.

We stand ready to fight terrorism, but I think it is very important for the American people to be wise and aware that we can find a way to resolve these matters with our frontline troops being strong and ready by continuing diplomacy first and working with the United Nations Security Council and not giving the authority of first strike to the Commander-in-Chief without the authorization under the Constitution that we have to declare war.

This is an important admonition. It is not stepping away from our responsibilities. It is not fear, for I look fear in the eye, and I will stand against it. It is not a fear of fighting terrorism, for I look terrorism in the eye and will fight against it. But it is a recognition of my sacred duty and responsibility to declare my standing with saving the lives of young men and women who offer themselves to fight for our freedom and justice in the United States military.

We will go off to our respective districts and each of us will have cast a vote of conscience. I believe that each of us should be respected as patriots and Americans, realizing that we have made a decision on the facts at hand. But it cannot be denied that the Constitution was written by our Founding Fathers for us not to be silent. It was written to be the underpinnings of democracy. So that as we look to give guidance to this Nation, we can be thankful for those who serve us in the United

States military, but, as well, Mr. Speaker, as I close, we can say thank you, but, as well, we can stand for saving the lives of the young men and women in the military because it is a question of life and death--that's why it is our duty as Members of Congress to make decisions of war on fact and constitutional grounds.