Department of Defense, Military Construction and Veterans Affairs, and Full-Year Continuing Appropriations Act, 2013by Representative Sanford D. Bishop Jr.
Posted on 2013-03-06
BISHOP of Georgia. I thank the gentlelady for yielding.
Mr. Speaker, today this body is voting on two updated bills that reflect the needs of FY 2013 and 10 outdated plans with outdated spending levels that were enacted over a year ago.
Mr. Speaker, we need to complete the process on all the bills, not just two. Governing by continuing resolution is not governing.
Furthermore, the legislation before us today does nothing to address sequestration. The failure to address sequestration will be devastating on military construction. For example, the Army's Barracks Modernization efforts will be delayed. For the Navy, sequestration will affect 10,000 Navy-owned and 3,000 leased homes by delaying housing construction and improvements.
The Air Force has made it a goal to eliminate inadequate housing for unaccompanied airmen by 2017, and sequestration will delay that goal and cause airmen to continue to live in substandard housing.
The most troubling aspect of sequestration to me is the impact it will have on the Department of Defense's school recapitalization efforts. A comprehensive assessment of DOD dependent schools and construction requirements indicated that 149 out of 189 schools had an overall condition rating of poor or failing, and required significant recapitalization. Sequestration will only exacerbate this problem.
These reductions to military construction will only result in substandard facilities for our servicemembers and job losses in the construction industry and slowed economic growth.
I remain hopeful that a balanced solution will win over rigid, ideological discussions in the coming weeks so that we can restore the irresponsible cuts.
Sequestration is bad. This CR does not address it, not even to mention the nondefense related cuts. This is bad for Head Start, job training, title I, special ed, child care, cancer screening, the loss of WIC, and I could go on and on.
This CR is not the way to govern. However, we need to come together across partisan lines, and we need to find middle ground so that we can do what is needed for the American people.