Monday, May 08, 2006

This Week in Our House

Via email:
This week, House Republicans will build upon their strong national security record while also addressing important domestic policy issues such as high energy prices. While Republicans continue to demonstrate support for our troops fighting terror around the globe, the House will also act on legislation to ensure that American troops who give their lives in service to the nation can be buried peacefully and with dignity.

A Record of Action on National Security

The House will consider the FY 2007 National Defense Authorization Act (H.R. 5122), which provides a policy and funding blueprint for America's vast national security programs, and focuses on ensuring that American service men and women in Iraq and Afghanistan have the best equipment and resources they need to win the War on Terror. The bill authorizes $512.9 billion for the Department of Defense (DoD) and the national security programs of the Department of Energy. In addition, the measure:

Authorizes an additional $50 billion in supplemental funding to support the war on terror's operational costs, personnel expenses, and the procurement of new equipment;

Authorizes additional funding for force protection to support Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom, including up-armored Humvees, Humvee IED protection kits and gunner protection kits, improvised explosive device (IED) jammers and state-of-the-art body armor;

Recommends additional increases of 30,000 Army and 5,000 Marine Corps active duty personnel to sustain required missions;

Provides a 2.7 percent pay raise for members of the armed forces;

Provides an additional $471 million for National Guard personnel, operations and maintenance and defense health, as well as $318 million for procurement to support the recommended National Guard end strength of 350,000; and

Blocks the Department of Defense's proposed fee increases retirees must pay under the TRICARE Standard health program and zeroes out co-pays for generic and formulary mail order prescriptions.

Honoring America's Fallen Heroes

The House will consider the Respect for America's Fallen Heroes Act (H.R. 5037) to prevent disruption of military funerals at national cemeteries, and keep protestors at least 500 feet away from mourners during a funeral. Rep. Mike Rogers (R-MI) drafted the measure after attending a funeral in Michigan where a group of demonstrators harassed families mourning the deaths of U.S. military men and women who served our nation in Iraq. After he introduced the bill, Rogers said:

"America needs a chance to put its collective arms around these families and say, 'you have the right to grieve peaceably and to bury your loved ones with dignity and respect.' There has to be a sense of decency. America has a responsibility to ensure that the families of our fallen heroes can grieve in peace and with dignity."

Hydrogen Bill Encourages Investment in America's Energy Future

Building upon the action House Republicans are taking to address high energy prices, the House on Wednesday is expected to consider the H-Prize Act (H.R. 5143), which would establish a prize competition to encourage breakthrough developments in hydrogen technology. Rep. Bob Inglis (R-SC) introduced the measure, saying:

"The H-Prize Act is designed to provide results-based financial incentives to harness the creative, can-do spirit of Americans in the quest to propel us over some of the technological barriers currently standing in the way of a hydrogen economy."

Action on the bill comes on the heels of yet another demonstration of Democrats' chronic negligence on responsible energy policy. Democrat opposition to common sense legislation - including the responsible refinery construction bill on the House floor last week designed to increase America's energy supply - is one more example of how Democrats' chronic negligence has led to high energy costs. In the coming weeks and months, House Republicans will take additional steps to help working families, safeguard our economy, and build a better energy future.

Resolution Encourages Seniors to Enroll in Prescription Drug Benefit & Start Saving

Lastly, the House is expected to consider a resolution to be introduced by Rep. Nancy Johnson (R-CT) to encourage all eligible beneficiaries who have not enrolled in the new Medicare prescription drug benefit to join the more than 30 million American seniors who have enrolled and start saving significant money on their prescription drug costs.

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