EXPRESSING SUPPORT AND APPRECIATION FOR THE PRESIDENT AND MEMBERS OF THE ARMED FORCES PARTICIPATING IN OPERATION IRAQI FREEDOM
(House of Representatives - March 20, 2003)

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[Pages H2227-H2251]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]




 EXPRESSING SUPPORT AND APPRECIATION FOR THE PRESIDENT AND MEMBERS OF 
       THE ARMED FORCES PARTICIPATING IN OPERATION IRAQI FREEDOM

  Mr. HUNTER. Mr. Speaker, I offer a concurrent resolution (H. Con. 
Res. 104) expressing the support and appreciation of the Nation for the 
President and the members of the Armed Forces who are participating in 
Operation Iraqi Freedom, and ask unanimous consent for its immediate 
consideration pursuant to the following order:
  Debate on the concurrent resolution shall be limited to 2 hours, 
equally divided and controlled by myself and the gentleman from 
Missouri (Mr. Skelton), and the previous question shall be considered 
as ordered on the concurrent resolution to final adoption, without 
intervening motion or demand for a division of the question.
  The Clerk read the title of the concurrent resolution.
  The SPEAKER. Is there objection to the request of the gentleman from 
Texas?
  Mr. DOGGETT. Mr. Speaker, reserving the right to object, the 
gentleman from Illinois (Mr. Hastert), the Speaker of the House, has 
rightly reminded us tonight of the events of 9/11. I think all of us 
remember the time that we stood together singing ``God bless America'' 
on the steps of this Capitol, unified in recognizing that what is 
involved here is bigger than us as individuals or as political parties, 
and how we joined with near unanimity in supporting the President on 
the war on terrorism.

                              {time}  2315

  Thanks to the good efforts of the gentleman from California (Mr. 
Hunter), we did this once again about 10 days ago, when he offered his 
resolution, H.J. Res. 27, ``commending the continuing dedication, 
selfless service, and commitment of members of the Armed Forces and 
their families during the Global War on Terrorism.'' At that time I 
rose, along with many colleagues, to support that resolution honoring 
our service members and to commend the gentleman from California (Mr. 
Hunter) for an effort that brought us together, rather than splitting 
us apart.
  I doubt that we can offer too many resolutions for our servicemen and 
servicewomen, so I understand the gentleman's interest in offering a 
further resolution tonight. I would like nothing more than to see a 
similar unanimous vote in support of that resolution.
  I would ask the gentleman under my reservation, since we have not yet 
even had this resolution printed for our review, if he is familiar with 
a resolution commending our troops that was authored by Senators Frist 
and Warner and Senators Daschle and Levin, and which was passed 
unanimously today in the United States Senate?
  Mr. HUNTER. Mr. Speaker, will the gentleman yield?
  Mr. DOGGETT. I yield to the gentleman from California.
  Mr. HUNTER. Mr. Speaker, is the gentleman asking me if I am aware 
that the other body passed a resolution?
  Mr. DOGGETT. Yes.
  Mr. HUNTER. Yes.
  Mr. DOGGETT. Is it correct that the gentleman's resolution is not the 
same as resolution S. Con. Res. 26?
  Mr. HUNTER. That is true.
  Mr. DOGGETT. I believe the gentleman's resolution omits clause 5 of 
Senate resolution S. Con. Res. 26, which says that the Congress ``joins 
all Americans in remembering those who lost their lives during 
Operation Desert Shield and Operation Desert Storm in 1991, and those 
still missing from that conflict, including Captain Scott Speicher of 
the United States Navy''.
  Would the gentleman be open to amending his resolution to include 
that language from clause 5 of the Senate Con. Res. 26?
  Mr. HUNTER. If the gentleman will yield further, yes, we would be 
open to including it.
  Mr. DOGGETT. The gentleman would be open to including that language?
  Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent to add clause 5 of the Senate 
version, S. Con. Res. 26.
  Mr. HUNTER. Mr. Speaker, I would retract that and tell the gentleman 
that I would not be open to that. Would the gentleman yield further?
  Mr. DOGGETT. Let me just ask, and then I will be very brief, because 
I know it is late and the gentleman wishes to proceed.
  The Senate, I am sure, acted, and not every word did I agree with, 
but they did act unanimously. It was good enough for the majority 
leader, Senator Frist and Senator Warner, chairman of the Armed 
Services Committee. Could we not dispense with this debate and simply 
take up, with the gentleman's approval, the entire Senate resolution 
and adopt it, and have every one of us saying not only the same thing 
in this House chamber but saying the same thing throughout the Capitol, 
that with one voice, we, the House and Senate, approve and applaud and 
support our troops?
  Mr. HUNTER. If the gentleman will continue to yield, Mr. Speaker, I 
just want to advise the gentleman that I read not only the resolution 
that was offered by the other body in 1991, but

[[Page H2228]]

also our resolution. We had a different resolution at that point, also.
  I would just say to the gentleman that I think that the Members of 
this body have made a very fine statement, a very heartfelt statement 
commending our troops. I think it says the right thing. I applaud the 
gentleman for other things that he would like to see in a resolution. I 
think reasonable minds can differ.
  I would hope that the gentleman would, in the spirit of bipartisan 
support for people that wear the uniform of the United States, not ask 
us to have precisely the same words as the other body, and simply spend 
a few minutes and go home. I would hope the gentleman would allow us to 
have our own resolution to express our own heartfelt support for those 
people, and let this body work its will.
  Mr. DOGGETT. Mr. Speaker, I respect the gentleman. Continuing under 
my reservation very briefly, it just seems to me we have heard so much 
about the need for us to speak with one voice that we could speak with 
one voice and do it promptly by taking verbatim what was good enough 
for Senators Frist and Warner.
  But let me ask the gentleman one other question, since he talks about 
acting with unanimity. The gentleman has three enacting clauses in his 
resolution. Clause two commends the Members of the United States Armed 
Forces; Clause three commends their families. I think there is 
unanimous agreement for both of these.
  Would the gentleman be open under his unanimous consent agreement to 
our proceeding now by unanimous consent to approve those two clauses, 
so that we could concentrate our debate in the only area that we have 
any difference, which are the words that the gentleman uses to approve 
the President's action with his first-strike policy in clause one?
  Mr. HUNTER. No.
  Mr. DOGGETT. Just one final question. The draft of this resolution, 
and I know there have been changes going on all night, but the draft 
that we Democrats were asked to approve late this afternoon was a 
little like the President's recent budget on Afghanistan, which he 
forgot to fund. The resolution draft we were offered as praising the 
troops largely forgot the troops.
  I was wondering if the gentleman would have any objection to my 
putting into the Record the resolution draft that we were given this 
afternoon and asked to approve, which did not include in the 
``whereas'' clauses much of anything about our servicemembers other 
than the first and last paragraphs. Most all of it seems to be about 
the President.
  Mr. HUNTER. If the gentleman will continue to yield, Mr. Speaker, let 
me just say to the gentleman that we have some excellent commendations 
in this particular resolution.
  Mr. DOGGETT. Added at our request, for the troops.
  Mr. HUNTER. Let me finish my statement, if I might.
  We commend the President as Commander in Chief. That is something we 
did in 1991. Under the Constitution, he leads this military force. We 
commend the Members of the United States Armed Forces. We commend the 
families. We give them our sincere gratitude and appreciation.
  I would think that any Member reading this resolution, and I would 
ask all Members to read it since the gentleman has called it into 
question, would agree that this resolution is an excellent resolution, 
and that it does all the things that we want to do. It would lead us 
all to wonder why the gentleman somehow wants it to say something else 
or follow some other example. It does not make a lot of sense.
  Mr. DOGGETT. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman. I will save the rest 
of my remarks for the debate.
  Mr. HUNTER. I will look forward to that.
  Mr. DOGGETT. I ask unanimous consent to include in the Record, Mr. 
Speaker, this type of unanimous consent request, which seeks only to 
place in the Record the draft of the resolution we Democrats were asked 
to concur in this afternoon, that it might be made part of the record 
so all could see it.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. Simpson). Is there objection to the 
request of the gentleman from Texas?
  Mr. THOMAS. I reserve the right to object, Mr. Speaker.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The gentleman from California (Mr. Thomas) 
is recognized under his reservation of objection.
  Mr. THOMAS. Mr. Speaker, the gentleman from Texas, as any Member, has 
the right to place any material under extension of remarks in another 
area of parliamentary procedure of this body. Is that correct?
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The gentleman makes clear why the Chair 
should entertain only one unanimous consent request at a time.
  Mr. THOMAS. Mr. Speaker, the gentleman has the right to place in the 
Record at another point in the proceedings. Since he has that right, 
which cannot be removed, I object to doing it at this time.
  Mr. DOGGETT. Mr. Speaker, it being apparent that the decision of 99 
Members of the United States Senate is inadequate for some in this 
House, that they will not accept even placing in the Record at this 
point, at a very appropriate and proper point, the resolution they 
offered us, which treated the troops almost as an afterthought, since 
the goal was not to applaud the troops but the President; and 
recognizing their refusal to let us approve now unanimously what we all 
agreed to, that the Members of the Armed Forces and their families 
deserve commendation, even if we disagree with the civilian, political 
decision to institute a new first-strike policy, which will actually 
endanger our families, I recognize little ability to reach unanimity; 
and I will raise the rest of my concerns about the Administration's 
unfortunate new policy, which places so many in harm's way, in the 
course of the debate.
  Mr. Speaker, I withdraw my reservation of objection.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Is there objection to the request of the 
gentleman from California?
  Mr. KUCINICH. Mr. Speaker, I reserve the right to object.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The gentleman from Ohio (Mr. Kucinich) may 
be heard under his reservation.
  Mr. KUCINICH. Mr. Speaker, I would say to the gentleman from 
California (Mr. Hunter), we are all patriots and we all want to support 
the troops, including our colleague. We all want to support their 
families.
  In hopes of trying to come to an agreement here, I am wondering if 
the gentleman would be willing to modify his unanimous consent request 
to include a more neutral resolution which supports the troops, as we 
all do, for their valiant and dedicated work, consistently performing 
in a professional manner; and which supports the families at this time 
of difficulty and trial?
  Since I think unanimously there is a way that we can all agree on 
this, would the gentleman be prepared to support House Concurrent 
Resolution 105, which I left at the desk and which is at the desk 
there, which is a resolution that supports the troops, but does not 
require Members to agree with the policy in Iraq?
  Mr. HUNTER. Mr. Speaker, will the gentleman yield?
  Mr. KUCINICH. I yield to the gentleman from California.
  Mr. HUNTER. Mr. Speaker, I just want to say to the gentleman and to 
the gentleman who just spoke, there are hundreds of thousands of 
Americans in uniform putting themselves in very difficult positions for 
our freedom tonight. If they are watching this procedure, they are 
probably wondering, what in the heck are those guys doing? We have a 
commending vehicle.
  Mr. KUCINICH. Mr. Speaker, I reclaim my time.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The gentleman from Ohio controls the time.
  Mr. HUNTER. I guess what I am saying is the answer is no to the 
gentleman from Ohio.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The gentleman from Ohio (Mr. Kucinich) 
controls the time.
  Mr. KUCINICH. To the gentleman, and he is a gentleman, I would like 
to say that we all agree that we want to support the troops. This 
resolution, however, or at least half of it, is not about the troops. 
At least half of it is about the war in Iraq, which is a matter of 
contention. We understand that. There are 133 Members of this House who 
voted against the Iraq resolution.
  The gentleman has made his decision, and I regret the decision, which 
I

[[Page H2229]]

think unfortunately politicizes what is really a very important 
resolution to support the troops. I think it lets politics get beyond 
the water's edge, Mr. Speaker. I do not think my good friend really 
intends to do that.
  I have a question to ask my good friend. Mr. Speaker, in looking at 
this resolution, I would like to call attention to page 3 of the 
resolution. I just want to understand, would the gentleman be prepared 
to amend his unanimous consent request to eliminate any references in 
this resolution to 9-11, since no credible evidence has ever been 
presented that would link Iraq to 9-11, so that this Congress would not 
be put in a position when something really has not been decided, we 
have not had a commission that has made that decision?
  The media has not really had an investigation that has decided that 
Iraq is connected to 9-11, this Congress has not made that association, 
yet this resolution does make that association. Would the gentleman be 
prepared to delete that reference in order to make this resolution 
something that would be more palatable?
  Mr. HUNTER. If the gentleman will continue to yield, Mr. Speaker, 
first, that restates the President's letter.
  Second, a second point I would make to the gentleman is that we have 
been working, Democrats and Republicans, to put this resolution 
together. My colleague, the ranking member of the Committee on Armed 
Services, has been working on it. The gentleman's leadership has been 
working on it. The product that we have before us is a product of both 
sides.
  I would just say to the gentleman if he has a disagreement with it 
and he thinks that it does not state his position, I would urge the 
gentleman to take time in this debate in the next several hours and 
explain his position; but nonetheless, let the rest of us in this House 
work our will and give our commendation to the troops. Obviously, we 
would all write it differently.
  Mr. KUCINICH. Mr. Speaker, I think the gentleman is correct. I think 
this House should be able to give a commendation to the troops.
  Mr. Speaker, I will withdraw my reservation of objection in the hopes 
that in the course of the debate we can clarify that while we all 
support the troops, there are many of us who have reservations about 
the wording of this resolution and it going beyond support for the 
troops.
  Mr. HUNTER. I look forward to the gentleman's statement.
  Mr. FRANK of Massachusetts. Mr. Speaker, will the gentleman yield?
  Mr. KUCINICH. I yield to the gentleman from Massachusetts.

                              {time}  2330

  Mr. FRANK OF Massachusetts. Mr. Speaker, I was glad to hear the 
gentleman from California respond to the gentleman from Ohio when the 
gentleman from Ohio referred to that part of the resolution which 
quotes the President's letter and said he disagreed with it in effect.
  The response from the gentleman from California was that simply 
factually recounts the President's letter. If, in fact, he is saying 
this is not necessarily by this body an endorsement of that, but simply 
a recognition of the fact that the President says it, and this is on 
the record, I think that would help us advance this.
  So I appreciate the gentleman from California having made that point 
that that particular phrase that the gentleman from Ohio mentioned is 
not the wording of this House. It is a reference to a fact that the 
President said that, and it does not reflect one way or the other what 
individual Members might think.
  Mr. KUCINICH. Mr. Speaker, I withdraw my reservation of objection.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. Simpson). Without objection, the 
concurrent resolution will be so considered.
  There was no objection.
  The text of H. Con. Res. 104 is as follows:

                            H. Con. Res. 104

       Whereas the United States Armed Forces, a total force 
     comprised of active, National Guard, and Reserve personnel, 
     are now undertaking courageous and determined operations 
     against the forces of Saddam Hussein's regime;
       Whereas the Senate and House of Representatives and the 
     American people have the greatest pride in the members of the 
     Armed Forces and strongly support them;
       Whereas the Iraq Liberation Act of 1998 (Public Law 105-
     338) stated that it should be the policy of the United States 
     to support efforts to remove the regime headed by Saddam 
     Hussein from power in Iraq and to promote the emergence of a 
     democratic government to replace that regime;
       Whereas on October 16, 2002, the President signed into law 
     House Joint Resolution 114 of the 107th Congress, the 
     Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq 
     Resolution of 2002 (Public Law 107-243), which provides 
     congressional authorization for the use of military force 
     against Iraq;
       Whereas the United Nations Security Council, in Security 
     Council Resolution 1441, adopted on November 8, 2002, voted 
     unanimously that Iraq ``. . . will face serious consequences 
     as a result of its continued violations of its obligations'' 
     to disarm in accordance with all relevant United Nations 
     resolutions;
       Whereas Iraq remains in material breach of the relevant 
     United Nations resolutions;
       Whereas the United States has assembled and deployed an 
     allied military coalition to apply pressure on Saddam Hussein 
     to comply with the relevant United Nations resolutions;
       Whereas on March 18, 2003, the President transmitted to the 
     Speaker of the House of Representatives and the President pro 
     tempore of the Senate the President's determination, 
     consistent with the Authorization for Use of Military Force 
     Against Iraq Resolution of 2002 (Public Law 107-243), that 
     reliance by the United States on further diplomatic and other 
     peaceful means alone will neither adequately protect the 
     national security of the United States against the continuing 
     threat posed by Iraq nor likely lead to enforcement of all 
     relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions 
     regarding Iraq, and that the President's use of military 
     force against Iraq is consistent with necessary ongoing 
     efforts by the United States and other countries against 
     international terrorists and terrorist organizations, 
     including those nations, organizations, or persons who 
     planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist 
     attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001;
       Whereas on the evening of March 17, 2003, the President of 
     the United States issued Saddam Hussein and his sons a final 
     ultimatum to leave Iraq within 48 hours or face United States 
     military intervention;
       Whereas, when Saddam Hussein failed to comply, the 
     President ordered United States Armed Forces to commence 
     military operations against the forces of Saddam Hussein 
     during the evening of March 19, 2003, under the code name of 
     Operation Iraqi Freedom, in order to liberate Iraq, remove 
     Saddam Hussein from power, and neutralize Iraq's weapons of 
     mass destruction;
       Whereas the United States Armed Forces and allied forces 
     are performing their missions with great courage and 
     distinction in carrying out air, land, and sea attacks 
     against Iraqi military targets; and
       Whereas the ability of the Armed Forces to successfully 
     perform their mission requires the support of their nation, 
     community, and families: Now, therefore, be it
       Resolved by the House of Representatives (the Senate 
     concurring), That the Congress expresses the unequivocal 
     support and appreciation of the Nation--
       (1) to the President as Commander-in-Chief for his firm 
     leadership and decisive action in the conduct of military 
     operations in Iraq as part of the on-going Global War on 
     Terrorism;
       (2) to the members of the United States Armed Forces 
     serving in Operation Iraqi Freedom, who are carrying out 
     their missions with excellence, patriotism, and bravery; and
       (3) to the families of the United States military personnel 
     serving in Operation Iraqi Freedom, who are providing support 
     and prayers for their loved ones currently engaged in 
     military operations in Iraq.

  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The gentleman from California (Mr. Hunter) 
and the gentleman from Missouri (Mr. Skelton) each will control 60 
minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentleman from California (Mr. Hunter).
  Mr. HUNTER. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  As I rise today, this country is embarked on a very noble endeavor. 
Last evening, military forces of the United States and our coalition 
allies commenced military operations to liberate the country of Iraq.
  This is indeed a historic moment. Operation Iraqi Freedom marks the 
culmination of nearly 13 years of U.S. action in Iraq. Commencing with 
Iraq's invasion of Kuwait on August 2, 1990, through Operations Desert 
Shield and Desert Storm, through the coalition enforcement of the 
northern and southern no-fly zones, to Operation Desert Fox and beyond, 
the United States and our allies have for over a decade been required 
to deal with the deceit, brutality and duplicity of Saddam Hussein, 
both diplomatically and militarily.
  Today Saddam's moment of truth has arrived. The path to his downfall 
began

[[Page H2230]]

when the Congress passed and President Clinton signed the Iraq 
Liberation Act of 1998, making it the policy of this Nation to support 
efforts to remove Saddam's regime from power and to promote a 
democratic government in Iraq. It continued last fall when Congress 
passed and President Bush signed House Joint Resolution 114 authorizing 
the use of military force in Iraq should it become necessary.
  Since the passage of that resolution, President Bush has undertaken 
herculean efforts to avoid a conflict. The President aggressively 
pursued the unanimous passage of U.N. Security Council Resolution 1441, 
calling for Iraq to disarm or face grave consequences. Subsequently, 
the President has exhausted every diplomatic means available to make 
the United Nations Security Council enforce 1441 to no avail.
  Today, the time for diplomacy has passed.
  Mr. Speaker, the resolution before us today does three things. First, 
it expresses the support and appreciation of our Nation to the 
President for his firm leadership and decisive action in the conduct of 
the military operations currently underway in Iraq. It is because of 
his wisdom and judgment that Iraq will soon be a free Nation, a Nation 
without weapons of mass destruction, a Nation that will become a full 
and peaceful participant in the international community.
  Second, this resolution expresses the support and appreciation of a 
Nation to our men and women in uniform. A few short weeks ago, the 
gentleman from Missouri (Mr. Skelton) and I brought forward H.J. Res. 
27 commending the members of our Armed Forces and their families for 
the dedication to duty and service to country that they demonstrate 
each and every day around the world. Today we bring forward this 
resolution to show our support, admiration and thanks for the nearly 
230,000 soldiers, sailors, airmen, marines and coast guardsmen who are 
participating in Operation Iraqi Freedom. Because of their dedication 
and devotion to duty, Operation Iraqi Freedom will be a success.
  Finally, this resolution expresses support for the families who wait 
at home for their loved ones who have undertaken this mission. Without 
the love and support of the families, our military personnel could not 
focus on the serious task at hand in Iraq, and I want to express a 
special thanks to the families of those serving in Operation Iraqi 
Freedom. Their sacrifice will not be in vain.
  Mr. Speaker, I urge my colleagues to show our support for our men and 
women in uniform by supporting this resolution.
  Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. SKELTON. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  This is a solemn moment for this body. We are here this evening 
representing Americans all across our land, and we are here to say on 
their behalf thank you to the young men and women who wear the uniform 
today, just as those veterans have done in yesteryear.
  I appreciate the Speaker mentioning to this body that our colleague 
and friend the gentleman from Indiana (Mr. Buyer) has been called to 
Active Duty. We will remember him in our thoughts and prayers, just 
like we do every soldier, sailor, airman and marine who represents us 
in this struggle for freedom and the end of a regime that could cause 
great harm to the free world.
  It is too bad that we have to have a resolution for our young men and 
women when they are in danger. Maybe we ought to pass one when there is 
a time for peace, when there is no conflict or a threat of conflict. It 
was the British poet Rudyard Kipling that put it so well in his poem 
``Tommy'' when he said, It's Tommy this and Tommy that and throw them 
out the brute, but savior of his country when the guns begin to shoot.
  I think we should show respect and thanks and appreciation to those 
who wear the uniform, who are trained daily, working daily, and, when 
they are called upon as they are now, be ready.
  So I thank the gentleman from California (Mr. Hunter), my good friend 
and chairman, for his efforts. We have worked so well, as we did on a 
previous resolution just a few days ago, and sadly, the process by 
which we find ourselves here tonight has not met with full 
understanding. Nevertheless, we are here to commend those troops for 
what they are about to do and what they are doing on the field of 
battle this evening.
  We unite as Americans in support of our troops, who are the truest 
expression of what this country stands for: courage, strength, 
compassion. They are the finest sons, daughters we have to offer the 
world as defenders of freedom, both in the United States of America, 
for the Iraqi people, as well as for those who love freedom across this 
globe.
  I urge my colleagues to support this resolution. We will have a 
number of speakers, and as a result thereof, I will cut my remarks 
short, and I thank the gentleman from California for his efforts in 
this behalf.
  Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. HUNTER. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself 2 minutes to respond to my 
friend from Missouri.
  Mr. Speaker, I want to commend the gentleman from Missouri (Mr. 
Skelton) and all the members of our Committee on Armed Services, 
Republican and Democrat, who work every day to support the people in 
uniform who are protecting American freedom around the world.
  Mr. Speaker, this great instrument of freedom, our Armed Forces, have 
saved the world and liberated hundreds of millions of people in three 
major conflicts, World War I, World War II and, of course, the Cold War 
that involved several smaller wars, smaller battles, that I call 
Vietnam and Korea, and we have liberated hundreds of millions of 
people.
  The real product of our Army and our Navy and our Marine Corps and 
our Air Force is freedom, and shortly we are going to be liberating 23 
million more people, Mr. Speaker.
  Mr. Speaker, in that great book about Korea, it was called the 
Bridges of Toko-Ri, by James Michener, if my colleagues have read that 
book, watched that movie, they may recall that the hero was a carrier 
pilot, flew out and hit a set of bridges in Toko-Ri that they had gone 
after day after day and lost a lot of people, and in the end that pilot 
did not come back. The commander of that carrier air group stood on the 
deck of the carrier when it was clear he would not return and neither 
would those people who were sent out to rescue him, and he asked, where 
does America get these people who will join the U.S. Armed Forces and 
put themselves in a very dangerous position, in this case go off on a 
mission, fly into enemy territory, hit a very heavily defended target 
and come back and try to find that little postage stamp called an 
American aircraft carrier? Then he answered his own question: They come 
from the cities and the towns and the villages of this country, and 
they always have, and as long as they continue to come, we are going to 
be a free Nation.
  Mr. Speaker, one of those people comes from Shelbina, Missouri.
  Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from California (Mr. 
Cunningham), who was the top gun in Vietnam, nominated for the 
Congressional Medal of Honor, and a guy whose heart always travels with 
people that wear the uniform of the United States.
  Mr. CUNNINGHAM. Mr. Speaker, I have thought a lot about this 
resolution. I do not think any of us can speak adequately on our 
feelings to our men and women that serve us today. They are today not 
only in Iraq, but in Afghanistan and all over this world, and they go a 
long way to protect our families and our country.
  Over 40 nations have joined the leadership of the United States, and 
they also send their sons and their daughters and their family members 
so that terrorism will stay there instead of here.
  My friends, like the gentleman from New York (Mr. Rangel) and the 
gentleman from Texas (Mr. Johnson), the gentleman from Indiana (Mr. 
Buyer), they know the fears of Private Ryan and We Were Soldiers and 
Glory, and I guarantee my colleagues the families do, too.
  My mom cried when I was shot down. An officer told her that I had 
been shot down, and she passed out, and they took her to the hospital 
before she even knew that I was okay. In my district and in my 
colleagues' districts, I

[[Page H2231]]

bet them, there are children right now weeping for their parents.
  This is an important resolution. I hate to see the partisanship, that 
things come up. I know different people believe certain ways, but let 
us not do it here. This is so important.
  I know when we were overseas, many of us, it was important. I did not 
care if it was President Johnson, I did not care if it was President 
Clinton, all I wanted to know was that the Congress was behind us, that 
they would support us and that the Congress would support our leaders 
because they had to make the decisions that kept us alive or not.
  Mr. SKELTON. Mr. Speaker, I yield such time as she may consume to the 
gentlewoman from California (Ms. Pelosi), the minority leader.
  Ms. PELOSI. Mr. Speaker, I thank the distinguished ranking member for 
yielding time and for his distinguished service on the committee and to 
our country, and I also commend the gentleman from California (Mr. 
Hunter).
  In the previous day, a couple of weeks ago, we had a very fine 
resolution on the floor that they proposed that was worthy of the 
troops that we were honoring. I wish we had that resolution before us 
today.
  Nonetheless, Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of this resolution which, 
in part, honors our courageous men and women in uniform. I disagree 
with the policy that took us to this war. I dispute some of the 
arguments used in favor of this resolution, and I am disappointed in 
some of the provisions in it, but even those objections cannot overcome 
the pride and appreciation that I have in our troops and the message 
that I want them to hear from us tonight of our support for them.
  Tonight the thoughts and prayers of all Americans are with our 
military forces and their families. I think we should be honoring the 
military wherever they serve in our country tonight because they are 
all brave, courageous, patriotic and willing to make the sacrifice for 
our country.

                              {time}  2345

  Mr. Speaker, I certainly think we could have done better in this 
resolution, but do not let that stand in Members' way for us to give a 
resounding vote of support of appreciation and pride for our men and 
women in uniform.
  Tonight we learned of the first casualties of this war. Sixteen 
American and British Marines have died in a tragic helicopter accident 
in Kuwait. I hope it is a comfort to the families who lost their loved 
ones that so many people mourn their loss and are praying for them at 
this sad time. There is no heavier burden for a President and no more 
solemn choice for this Nation than to send our young men and women into 
battle.
  As Commander in Chief, President Bush has made that difficult 
decision. Despite our policy decisions, as Americans we stand behind 
our men and women in uniform. As Congress, charged by the U.S. 
Constitution with providing for the common defense, we pledge today to 
our Armed Forces and their families, they will have the support they 
need in this dangerous and difficult time, both to win the war and to 
secure the peace.
  In recent weeks I have met with some of these courageous men and 
women. We have all been meeting with them over time; but as the war 
drew near, it was more poignant. I traveled with the gentleman from 
Missouri (Mr. Skelton), the ranking member of the Committee on Armed 
Services, to Whiteman Air Force Base in Missouri to meet with the B-2 
crews that may soon be engaged over Iraq. They were again brave and 
patriotic. Everyone respected the gentleman from Missouri (Mr. 
Skelton), as Members can imagine; and everyone recognized what a great 
patriot he is in our country.
  Three weeks ago, along with the gentleman from Pennsylvania (Mr. 
Murtha) and the gentleman from Ohio (Mr. Hobson), I traveled to Kuwait, 
Qatar, and Turkey to meet with the soldiers, sailors, airmen and 
Marines now risking their lives in Iraq. We brought with us Members' 
good wishes of appreciation and pride, and thanked them for their 
patriotism, courage and, willingness to make the ultimate sacrifice.
  Our men and women in uniform are an inspiration. They have waved 
good-bye to their husbands, wives, and children; and they endure daily 
hardships over many months to enhance America's diplomatic leverage. 
They are focused on their mission, motivated by a profound love of 
country and prepared, yes, to make the ultimate sacrifice. They are the 
best-trained, best-equipped and best-led military force the world has 
ever seen; and every American is eternally indebted to these patriots.
  During our visit to the Persian Gulf, we met a young soldier named 
Captain Jennifer Schulke of Fort Bliss, Texas. She commands a Patriot 
missile battery in Kuwait. With the precision and ease of an engineer, 
she described for us the capability of the weapons system she commands. 
But she spoke with even greater pride of something else, about her 
daughter back home. Her daughter will be 2 years old on March 27, and 
on her birthday her mother will be serving in a country halfway around 
the world. Captain Schulke is one of the countless mothers and fathers, 
husband and wives and sons and daughters in uniform making sacrifices 
American families can only begin to imagine. I thought of her today 
when we heard of the Scud attacks and the Patriot response. It is 
people like Captain Schulke who inspire us and insist that we must 
support our men and women in uniform.
  Today we pray for their swift and safe return into the loving arms of 
their families. When they come home, we will honor them for the heroes 
they are. And if they do not come home, we will support their families 
and honor their heroic deeds. We also honor our men and women in 
uniform by proving ourselves worthy of their sacrifice when we uphold 
the democratic values they defend with their very lives.
  As we protect and defend the American people, we must also protect 
and defend the Constitution and the civil liberties contained therein 
which we cherish. And we must treat honest debate for what it is, an 
expression of patriotism, not a violation of it. Open discussion of the 
great task before us does not give comfort to America's adversaries. 
No, on the contrary, it gives comfort and confidence to the American 
people who look to Congress to uphold the immutable values and ideals 
that define our American democracy.
  Today, America's sons and daughters preparing to go into Iraq have 
answered the call of their country. In the days to come, let us build a 
future worthy of their sacrifice. May God bless our courageous forces 
and their brave families. May God bless America.
  Mr. HUNTER. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman from Texas 
(Mr. DeLay), the majority leader.
  Mr. DeLAY. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman from California (Mr. 
Hunter) and the gentleman from Missouri (Mr. Skelton) for bringing this 
resolution to the floor.
  Even though the hour is late, Members are willing to stay here 
because it is so important for the House of Representatives to express 
our support for our men and women in uniform, our troops in harm's way 
now, and as the minority leader said, those troops anywhere in the 
world and at home. And also to support their families for the 
sacrifices that they are making. It is tough on the families, probably 
tougher on the families than any other people. We are also here to 
commend the President for his strong leadership in bringing us to where 
we are today.
  Our men and women in uniform need to understand why they are fighting 
and why they are risking their lives, and understand that this House 
supports them in that because in order to risk their lives, they have 
to understand that they are doing it for the right reasons.
  Last night began a challenging time for our country as our Armed 
Forces went on the march against tyranny. It also signaled the time for 
our country to come together with singleness of purpose and speak with 
a single voice.
  Under our Constitution, America speaks through the United States 
Congress, and last year we spoke out boldly and strongly from both 
political parties. We let the world know that the defenders of freedom 
are not going to allow the world's leading purveyor and practitioner of 
terror continue to spread his grip of fear.
  Today, Congress is set to speak again for the American people. We 
want to honor the men and women of our Armed Forces who are conducting 
their mission with the utmost honor and courage as they defend our 
democracy.

[[Page H2232]]

  We salute every person taking risks to confront terrorism and tyranny 
to expand the frontiers of freedom, and we salute the President for 
showing the world the power of strong, moral leadership.
  We know that Saddam Hussein is seeking the means to murder millions 
in just a single moment, and he is consumed with hatred for America. We 
know that the war on terrorism will be fought here at home unless we 
summon the will to confront evil before it attacks. Free democratic 
nations must be willing to stop his evil aspirations. He is not a man 
with whom we can confer, consult, or convince. He is not a man we can 
trust. He has violated 17 United Nations resolutions. He is in material 
breach of multiple U.N. resolutions, and he has ignored the final 
ultimatum by the President of the United States.
  Saddam Hussein once agreed to end his missile program. He agreed to 
stop building chemical weapons. He agreed to stop developing biological 
weapons. He agreed to end his nuclear weapons program. He agreed to 
stop brutalizing and oppressing his people. He agreed to do many, many 
other things; but every promise he made was a lie. Every agreement was 
a devious swindle. Every commitment was an expedient falsehood.
  It was all a devilish strategy designed to escape accountability for 
past crimes and to buy the time to develop weapons for even greater 
crimes against humanity.
  He turned the regime's resources to the awful purpose of developing 
terror weapons to spread the cruelty and oppression beyond his own 
borders. He welcomes terrorists to sanctuary and support within his own 
borders.
  During the years that Saddam Hussein slow-walked the United Nations 
through his series of deceptions, his regime systematically brutalized 
the Iraqi people. He tortures children to punish their parents. He 
executes members of his government to enforce obedience. We can never 
know how many faceless victims have screamed out their last words to 
the uncaring ears of Saddam Hussein's torturers.
  As a member of England's Labour Party recently laid out in chilling 
detail earlier this week, Saddam Hussein is a diabolical prodigy in the 
craft of evil. This member spoke of Iraqi citizens who witnessed men 
being forced into a machine intended to shred plastic. The men who went 
in head first were, in a tragic sense, the fortunate ones. The men who 
were sent to their death feet first, their final words were anguished 
screams for mercy. She told of women raped as Saddam Hussein's 
torturers made their husbands watch.
  This is wickedness that by the grace of God the people of America 
will never know. We have not cornered the market on morality, but our 
policy of intervention to force an end to this evil is clearly a just 
cause, a worthy war and a principled stand.
  Fortunately, President Bush is proceeding with courage and boldness. 
He is leading with moral clarity. He is fighting principled battles, 
and he is not backing down. We have to give President Bush our full 
support as he confronts this evil, and our men and women in uniform as 
they confront this evil.
  This vote to support our Commander in Chief and our courageous troops 
in battle sends the right message that we are denying Saddam Hussein 
the power to take additional lives. We believe that in the teeth of 
terrorism, America must continue exporting the values, democratic 
institutions, and patterns of conduct that have built the strongest and 
fairest system of government and the most free society the world has 
ever seen.
  We feel very deeply for all of the people trapped within autocratic 
regimes and born with repressive governments. And as defenders of 
freedom, we also owe the besieged people of Iraq the same hope we 
supplied to the people of Germany nearly 6 decades ago.
  In the battle between freedom and terrorist tyranny, there is no 
middle ground. We look to the day, far off though it may be, when every 
person comes into this world with the full promise of their God-given 
rights upheld by the government of their birthplace. This is a bold 
vision and a noble goal, but the potential of the American people is 
not constrained by the timid boundaries of conventional thinking. We 
are called to far more than that. And due to the excellence and 
patriotism and bravery of our soldiers and their families, and the 
courage of the President with moral purpose, the liberation of Iraq has 
begun.
  May God bless our President, may God bless our troops, may God bless 
our Nation.
  Mr. SKELTON. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman from 
Texas (Mr. Frost).
  (Mr. FROST asked and was given permission to revise and extend his 
remarks.)
  Mr. FROST. Mr. Speaker, the war to remove the grave threat posed by 
Saddam Hussein and his regime's weapons of mass destruction has begun. 
Throughout this mission, the men and women of our Armed Forces will 
have the unwavering support of Congress and the American people. I 
thank the leadership of both parties for bringing this important 
resolution to the floor.
  Today, this House speaks with one clear voice to America's allies and 
adversaries alike. We stand united in strong support of our troops.
  My wife, Army Major General Kathy Frost, Commander of the Army Air 
Force Exchange Service, recently visited our troops in four Persian 
Gulf countries. She has shared with me their absolute commitment to 
everything asked of them by our country to complete this mission.
  I also wish to recognize the thousands of American civilians, such as 
the AAFES employees, who are providing vital support to our troops in 
the Persian Gulf. The work of these civilians is essential to the 
success of this mission, and they, too, deserve our gratitude for 
taking the enormous risk to work in what is now a combat zone.

                              {time}  0000

  Our troops will succeed in carrying out this mission. Like all 
Americans, I hope and pray they do so as safely and quickly as 
possible.
  Mr. HUNTER. Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the gentleman from 
California (Mr. Lewis), chairman of the appropriations Subcommittee on 
Defense and a guy who works every day on behalf of folks in uniform.
  Mr. LEWIS of California. Mr. Speaker, I rise really to express my 
deep appreciation for both the gentleman from Missouri (Mr. Skelton) 
and the gentleman from California (Mr. Hunter) for the fabulous job 
they do on behalf of the men and women who make up our Armed Forces. 
The gentleman from California (Mr. Hunter) and I have talked about the 
fact that I am very proud at this moment in our history to have the 
privilege to chair the subcommittee of appropriations that does the 
funding for the men and women who are now serving us overseas.
  This evening we will have before us a budget that is probably the 
finest budget in terms of national security that I have seen in all the 
years I have been in Congress, and we will have the opportunity in that 
budget to express our strong support for those men and women who are 
doing this work on our behalf and on behalf of freedom in the Middle 
East this evening.
  But particularly relative to this resolution are these two gentlemen, 
the gentleman from Missouri (Mr. Skelton) and the gentleman from 
California (Mr. Hunter), who have come together to provide a vehicle 
for us to express our deep appreciation, our deepest appreciation, for 
the work that they are about. Indeed, it is America's challenge to 
preserve freedom and provide leadership for freedom in the world. The 
men and women who are serving us this evening who we are praising by 
way of this resolution are right at the point of the strength of 
America as we go out carrying forward that responsibility we have to be 
the world's force for peace as well as for freedom. I thank them so 
much for what they are doing.
  I appreciate the gentleman yielding me this time.
  Mr. SKELTON. Mr. Speaker, I yield such time as he may consume to the 
gentleman from Maryland (Mr. Cardin).
  (Mr. CARDIN asked and was given permission to revise and extend his 
remarks.)
  Mr. CARDIN. Mr. Speaker, I rise in strong support of our troops.
  Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of the concurrent resolution. We are 
now at a state of war with Iraq. Regardless of how we as individuals

[[Page H2233]]

may feel about the President's decision to go to war, it is imperative 
that we support the men and women who are in Iraq now and who have put 
their lives in harm's way.
  Over the last few months, we as a nation have engaged in a vigorous 
discussion concerning our policy toward Iraq. During this time, many 
people have expressed a differing view from the President's concerning 
Iraq.
  No one should ever mistake our open society for weakness of spirit 
and resolve. I support our American and allied troops, and I pray for a 
swift and decisive conclusion with as few casualties as possible.
  When the fighting concludes, and if Iraqi President Saddam Hussein 
and his top officials survive the war, I have introduced a resolution 
with the gentleman from Pennsylvania, Mr. Weldon, which calls for the 
establishment of a U.N. war crimes tribunal to investigate and try them 
for crimes against humanity, genocide and other criminal violations of 
international law. I have little doubt that such a tribunal is 
justified. There is an enormous amount of irrefutable evidence that 
Saddam and his top officials ordered Iraqi soldiers to commit 
atrocities against their own population and against others, including 
American soldiers during the 1991 Gulf War.
  Our immediate focus after the fighting stops must be to stabilize 
Iraq and the entire Middle East region. After the war the United States 
and our international partners must help Iraq transition to a 
democratic republic that respects the rule of law and human rights. I 
also look forward to working with the President to ensure that Iraq has 
the help it needs to transition to a democratic republic that respects 
the rule of law and human rights.
  The weeks ahead will be difficult ones, but I know Americans will 
join me in supporting our troops who are in harm's way. I also know 
that all of us want a swift conclusion to this conflict with as little 
loss of life as possible.
  Mr. SKELTON. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentlewoman from 
California (Mrs. Tauscher).
  Mrs. TAUSCHER. Mr. Speaker, we all wanted diplomacy to find a 
peaceful solution, and now we all want our troops home as quickly and 
safely as possible. The enemy should understand that it can take no 
comfort in the disagreement we have had with President Bush on the 
wisdom of a unilateral war in Iraq. Once our President sends our men 
and women into harm's way, we will do everything possible to support 
our troops abroad and their families here at home.
  I share the sadness and concern for our fighting men and women and 
the people of Iraq. I join my colleagues and Californians in wanting to 
ensure our troops are safe, innocent civilians casualties are avoided, 
Saddam is disarmed, and the world community is engaged in rebuilding a 
democratic Iraq.
  When I was in the Persian Gulf earlier this year, I saw many of the 
men and women who will win this war for America. They are young, they 
are smart, and they are ready. To the men and women of the Armed 
Forces, especially those from Travis Air Force Base and Reserve and 
National Guard units from throughout California and the Bay area, you 
have the unwavering support of this Congress and the American people. 
To the families of these brave men and women, let me tell you that your 
sacrifice is tremendous, and we are praying for your loved ones' safe 
return.
  Now the only exit strategy that remains is victory. I am confident 
that day will come soon. God bless our troops and God bless America.
  Mr. HUNTER. Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the gentleman from 
Maryland (Mr. Bartlett), who is the chairman of the Subcommittee on 
Projection Forces.
  Mr. BARTLETT of Maryland. Mr. Speaker, however much we may disagree 
in the Congress and the country about how we got to this moment in 
time, here we are. Americans are engaged in battle to disarm Saddam 
Hussein of his weapons of mass destruction and to free the Iraqi people 
from his reign of terror. The world must know all Americans stand 
behind President George W. Bush in his role as Commander in Chief. The 
world must also know that all Americans stand united in support of our 
magnificent military personnel who are now in harm's way. Victory is 
certain. I believe it is important that we all pray and ask for God's 
guidance and assistance that victory come swiftly and with as little 
loss of life as possible, both American and Iraqi.
  I believe the surest path to peace is through strength. Americans are 
a peaceful people, but evil exists. This is a time when the evil of 
Saddam Hussein and the threat he poses must be defeated with military 
force. It is right and proper that we appeal to God, for we need His 
help to move beyond war and achieve the goal of a free and prosperous 
Iraq that will be a model for the Middle East and the world.
  Mr. SKELTON. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentlewoman from 
Illinois (Ms. Schakowsky).
  Ms. SCHAKOWSKY. Mr. Speaker, on April 28, 1999, the now majority 
leader addressed the House of Representatives with these solemn words:
  ``Mr. Speaker, this is a very difficult speech for me to give because 
I normally, and I still do, support our military and the fine work that 
they are doing. But I cannot support a failed foreign policy.'' I quote 
this, Mr. Speaker, not in criticism and not for any political purpose, 
but because these words express my feelings tonight, just as they 
expressed the majority leader's when our troops were in Kosovo, a 
policy I supported, just as he supports the war in Iraq.
  Each and every word of praise and support for our troops in this 
resolution I wholeheartedly endorse. As a mother, every expression of 
gratitude and prayer for their families I embrace. But as one who 
believes that this preemptive war that put these brave patriots in 
harm's way is unwise and unnecessary, I cannot in good conscience 
support a resolution that unequivocally endorses that action. I deeply 
love my country, and without reservation the men and women who wear our 
uniform, but regretfully, will not be able to support this resolution.
  Mr. HUNTER. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from 
South Carolina (Mr. Wilson).
  Mr. WILSON of South Carolina. Mr. Speaker, as a parent of three sons 
who are in the military, I rise in support of the resolution being 
offered by the gentleman from California (Mr. Hunter), chairman of the 
Committee on Armed Services.
  In particular, I had the opportunity just last month of going on a 
delegation to visit our troops in Kuwait. It was an extraordinary 
opportunity. The delegation was led by the gentleman from Georgia (Mr. 
Collins). We went to encourage the troops, but actually while I was 
there, they encouraged me. We saw the troops of the 82nd Airborne, the 
3rd Infantry Division, neighbors of mine from Fort Stewart, Georgia; I 
was able to see the troops from the 1st Marine Division.
  At each stop we were encouraged by the high morale of the troops. We 
could see that they had the best equipment in the world. They have the 
best training in the world. They have the finest military leaders in 
the world. My greatest concern for the troops was the threat of 
chemical and biological weapons.
  I want to thank the gentleman from New Jersey (Mr. Saxton), chairman 
of the Subcommittee on Terrorism, Unconventional Threats and 
Capabilities. Yesterday we had a presentation which revealed to us the 
extraordinary technology which is being provided our troops, the 
lightweight protective gear, the wonderful modern gas masks, the 20,000 
chemical detection devices. Each one of our troops is well protected 
against chemical and biological weapons.
  We have 44 allies involved in the coalition that is facing Saddam 
Hussein at this time. In the Persian Gulf there were 41. Two countries 
in particular I want to thank. I have had the opportunity to be with 
Ambassador Elena Poptodorova of Bulgaria. Bulgaria has provided troops. 
It is providing the first American air base in the history of their 
country at Burgas. I also thank Ambassador Sorin Ducaru of Romania. I 
met with him 2 days ago. It is just extraordinary the services they are 
providing as they support the war against terrorism and the war against 
Saddam Hussein.
  I conclude, God bless our troops.
  Mr. SKELTON. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman from 
Illinois (Mr. Emanuel).
  Mr. EMANUEL. Mr. Speaker, the United States is at war. We have one 
Armed Forces, one Commander in Chief, one Nation. There are questions 
to be asked about how we came to this moment, about the diplomacy, 
about the relationships with our allies, about the shifting rationales 
we have been offered for war. These are serious issues.

[[Page H2234]]

They should and will be debated here by historians and scholars in the 
months and years ahead.
  Today is not a time for that debate. There are hundreds and thousands 
of young men and women in harm's way, my neighbors and yours. Our 
attention should be focused on those young men and women, the success 
of their mission, and their safe return.
  I had the fortunate experience of serving in the White House. I know 
firsthand what a solitary and difficult decision it is for a President 
to send our Armed Forces into harm's way. I well remember some Members 
of this body, in the midst of conflict, attacking the President, the 
Commander in Chief, even as he worked day and night to complete a 
mission to bring our servicemen and women home safely. It was wrong 
then. It would be wrong now.
  I for one will not do that to our President, to our Commander in 
Chief. I want him to succeed. We should all want him to succeed. So 
long as our troops are engaged, we should suspend the debate over how 
and why, focus on the mission, unite as a country in prayer and 
resolve, hope for a speedy resolution of this war, with a minimum of 
loss. God bless America.
  Mr. HUNTER. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from 
Tennessee (Mr. Wamp).
  (Mr. WAMP asked and was given permission to revise and extend his 
remarks.)
  Mr. WAMP. Mr. Speaker, I want to say a word to the courageous men and 
women in uniform and a word to the courageous men and women of the 
United States Congress. First, I think we should remember September 11 
because the greatest generation on whose shoulders we stand today were 
incredibly encouraged by the bravery and the sacrifice following 
September 11 when we were struck in our homeland. They were encouraged 
because they realized that their children and grandchildren had what it 
takes, that we were actually willing to answer our call to courage in 
our generation, and that we were willing to sacrifice.
  Today's men and women in uniform around the world are standing in the 
gap between a threat and our civilian population, and we all thank them 
for that.
  When I was growing up, it was almost all Active Duty career men and 
women in the military. Today it is the Guard and the Reserves, and they 
are all deployed, and they leave their jobs and they go and they serve, 
and they did not know this moment was going to come, but they are ready 
and willing.
  I sent off the 181st earlier this week from Chattanooga, Tennessee, 
and wives and parents were all there. They have got guts, and we 
appreciate them so very much.
  But let me say something quickly to this body. I have been around 
long enough to know, I do not know what the next election is going to 
bring except probably a real close election, and I do not know who is 
going to be President. I was raised in the Cold War, but I am raising 
my children in a hot war. This is not the only time that we are going 
to be on the floor addressing problems like this. We are going to be 
back. I do not know who is going to be President, but I hope that the 
tradition of us meeting at the water's edge when it comes to our 
national security is carried on, because this institution and that 
tradition is bigger than either party or any Member, and we must 
continue to stand together for freedom in the United States Congress.
  Mr. SKELTON. Mr. Speaker, I yield such time as she may consume to the 
gentlewoman from Michigan (Ms. Kilpatrick).
  (Ms. KILPATRICK asked and was given permission to revise and extend 
her remarks.)
  Ms. KILPATRICK. Mr. Speaker, I stand in strong support of our troops 
and our families.
  Mr. Speaker, at this moment my prayers and thoughts are with the 
service men and women who are braving the fierceness of battle in the 
deserts of Iraq. My best wishes are with them and their families for a 
safe return home. I have no doubt that they will be victorious in their 
undertaking and perform their duties honorably and bravely.
  I have a particularly soft spot in my heart for the service men and 
women serving in Michigan's National Guard and reserve units that are 
now activated to duty. They are providing a myriad of services and 
tasks on behalf of the war effort and in service to our nation.
  The politics of war should stop when the first shot is fired and when 
the men and women who make up our armed forces move into the field of 
battle. Some Members in this chamber have taken exception to the 
Administration's handling of the Iraq crisis, and I include myself 
among those who have had strong reservations about our road to war. If 
this were a simple resolution expressing our support and best wishes 
for the safe return of our troops, it would have my complete and 
unquestioning support. As a Member of the House Appropriations 
Committee, I will do everything I can to make sure that our troops are 
provided with the equipment and resources necessary to ensure their 
safety and support their families.
  But I have strong reservations about the course of action that took 
us into our present state of war. My position on this war has been 
plainly clear since the beginning, when the Administration first 
proposed using preemptive action against Iraq. I supported working 
through the United Nations and our allies and using all diplomatic 
means possible to disarm Saddam Hussein. I do not feel that the 
President stayed true to this path and exhausted all diplomatic means 
available. Therefore, I could not in good, moral conscious, vote 
``yes'' for this resolution because it represents an affirmation of the 
policy of pre-emption. I strongly disagree with the application of a 
pre-emptive doctrine. It is counter to our values as a democratic 
nation and our American tradition.
  Now that we are committed, our troops are bound to perform their 
mission effectively and destroy the Iraqi war machine. As they pursue 
their objective, they will encounter many perils as the war follows its 
course. I share with the President the wish that their job will be 
completed swiftly so that they will soon be returning home to their 
loved ones.
  Mr. SKELTON. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentlewoman from 
California (Ms. Lee).
  Ms. LEE. Mr. Speaker, tonight I rise with a heavy heart in strong 
support of our troops. My thoughts and prayers are with them, and I 
pray for their safe return. As a soldier's daughter, my heart also goes 
out to their families. I know they anxiously await their return home.
  America's Armed Forces put their lives on the line and their 
sacrifices should never be forgotten. That is why just 2 weeks ago I 
voted in favor of H.J. Res. 27, which recognized and commended the 
continuing dedication and selfless service of members of the Armed 
Forces and their families. In spite of our policy differences, I do 
support our young men and women in uniform.

                              {time}  0015

  But what I cannot support, though, is this resolution that endorses 
war against Iraq. I believed and still believe that diplomatic 
alternatives existed, the inspections process was working. Keeping our 
troops out of harm's way has been and remains first and foremost on my 
mind and in my heart. May God protect them and return them safely home.
  Mr. HUNTER. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from 
Nevada (Mr. Gibbons), who was a fighter pilot in the Persian Gulf and 
in Vietnam.
  (Mr. GIBBONS asked and was given permission to revise and extend his 
remarks.)
  Mr. GIBBONS. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for yielding me this 
time.
  Mr. Speaker, I rise to add my voice to the many voices who are 
commending the troops of our Nation and our allies as they undertake 
the task of liberating the people of Iraq and removing the danger that 
Iraq's illegal weapons present to the world. It is unfortunate that 
Saddam Hussein did not take the opportunity given to him for the past 
12 years to simply comply with the demands of the world and peacefully 
disarm. However, the decision to ignore the world will ultimately be a 
tragedy, mostly for Saddam Hussein.
  Over the next few days we are going to find out just how fortunate we 
are to have our young men and women on the front lines. The bravery of 
our troops has already been demonstrated in the last 24 hours. A 
courageous 117 pilots have struck deep into Iraq with minimal support 
in some of the first air strikes of this war. Marines and soldiers 
alike in Kuwait have engaged the enemy in Iraq, and freedom for Iraq is 
closer today than ever before.
  Mr. Speaker, in many ways this is the beginning of the end for many 
different people. For the Iraqi people, it is

[[Page H2235]]

the beginning of the end of 20 years of oppression and tyranny; and for 
terrorists another haven for training and planning attacks is coming to 
an end. For the men and women of our Armed Forces, 12 years of constant 
deployment to contain a tyrant is coming to an end.
  The men and women of our Armed Forces will demonstrate to the world 
the courage of our Nation, and they will show that the United States 
will not tolerate appeasement that keeps tyrants in power and endangers 
the entire world. I urge my colleagues to support this resolution.
  May God bless our leaders. May God bless our troops, and may God 
bless this great Nation.
  Mr. SKELTON. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman from 
Rhode Island (Mr. Langevin).
  (Mr. LANGEVIN asked and was given permission to revise and extend his 
remarks.)
  Mr. LANGEVIN. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for yielding me this 
time.
  Mr. Speaker, as we gather tonight, hundreds of thousands of Americans 
and allied troops are risking their safety to protect ours. They are 
courageously confronting Saddam Hussein and the danger his regime poses 
to the world, and we have the utmost confidence that their victory will 
be sure and swift. I pledge my full support to these brave men and 
women and my firm commitment to providing whatever resources may be 
necessary to back their critical mission. Just as importantly, I want 
to thank the loved ones these soldiers have left at home for their 
sacrifice during these difficult times.
  Sadly, the deaths tonight of 16 Marines and British troops in a 
helicopter crash in Kuwait remind us of the great and constant risk our 
servicemen and women are facing. I offer my deepest condolences to 
their families in their time of grief. Above all, I express the 
gratitude of every American for the brave patriots who have been called 
upon to defend freedom and security.
  May God be with each and every one of our troops as we all pray for 
their protection in combat and a quick and safe return home.
  Mr. HUNTER. Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the gentleman from Rhode 
Island (Mr. Langevin) for his great service to the Committee on Armed 
Services.
  I yield 3 minutes to the gentleman from Virginia (Mr. Schrock), 
another gentleman with great military expertise.
  Mr. SCHROCK. Mr. Speaker, as the representative of the Navy's 
Atlantic fleet and nearly 100,000 active duty servicemen and women, I 
am pleased to rise to honor our brave men and women in uniform. The 
piers in Norfolk stand empty tonight and thousands of families are 
risking their loved ones, but we pray along with them that their loved 
ones have a successful and safe mission and that they can return home 
as soon as their mission is complete.
  Fortunately, our enemies do not often witness the strength of the 
U.S. military firsthand, but Saddam Hussein's regime is learning of 
that strength tonight. It is the men and women of our armed services 
that give us that strength. Their resolute training, their unwaivering 
bravery, and their steeled resolve will bring a quick and decisive end 
to this conflict. These men and women have volunteered to fight and put 
their lives at risk to ensure our freedom and to liberate those held 
back by the chains of tyranny. These men and women represent the best 
that America has to offer, and we must stand united behind them and our 
Nation's leadership.
  I thank the gentleman from California, whose son is an active duty 
Marine Corps officer and the gentleman from Missouri whose son is an 
active duty naval officer for bringing this resolution to us, and I 
urge its swift passage.
  Mr. SKELTON. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman from 
Washington (Mr. McDermott).
  Mr. McDERMOTT. Mr. Speaker, I rise today as a Member of this body who 
was privileged to serve my country as an officer in the United States 
Navy. In that roll as chief psychiatrist at the Long Beach Naval 
Station at the height of the Vietnam War, it was my duty to evaluate 
and treat seaman and Marines returning from combat. I saw their pain.
  I wish it to be clearly understood that I have the utmost respect and 
appreciation for the courage, tenacity, and dedication of those 
currently serving in Iraq and elsewhere. But, Mr. Speaker, war is not a 
partisan matter. The leadership should be ashamed of bringing this 
resolution to the floor. Everyone here wants to support an honest and 
straightforward resolution to support our troops. Do not give us a 
disingenuous and deceptive resolution that confuses the issue by asking 
us to endorse the Bush doctrine that sent our troops to war. I for one 
will not be forced to praise the President's reckless decisions when 
what I want to do is praise the troops. I cannot endorse the 
administration's policy of unilateral military action without 
international sanctions. This war of choice undermines the 
international order and endangers our Republic.
  Mr. HUNTER. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from 
Georgia (Mr. Isakson).
  Mr. ISAKSON. Mr. Speaker, I thank the distinguished chairman and 
ranking member. I appreciate this opportunity, and I rise really for 
two specific reasons. First, on behalf of those I represent in the 
Sixth Congressional District of Georgia, I want to rise to express my 
appreciation and my support for this resolution, the men and women whom 
it honors, the parents who raised them, and the Commander in Chief who 
today leads them.
  And, secondly, I rise to pay tribute in memory of my best friend, 
Captain Jackson Elliot Cox, who died in 1967 in Vietnam. He died at a 
time when America's Congress was divided over another conflict at 
another time. He died and gave the last full measure of his life on 
behalf of this country so this body could do its work just as those men 
and women are doing today in the sands of Iraq and in the Middle East.
  So before at this early stage we divide ourselves over words, I hope 
we will unite ourselves over the praise of these young men, these young 
women, their families that raised them, and the President that leads 
them. This resolution is important to all in America, but it is most 
important to those who tonight serve us while we have the freedom to 
debate, to vote, and to participate in the greatest democracy in the 
history of the world, the United States of America.
  Mr. SKELTON. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the very distinguished 
gentleman from New York (Mr. Rangel).
  (Mr. RANGEL asked and was given permission to revise and extend his 
remarks.)
  Mr. RANGEL. Mr. Speaker, what a great opportunity we had tonight for 
all of us to unequivocally endorse and praise those brave young men and 
women who are prepared at any time to put their lives on the line and 
put themselves in harm's way for the interests of the United States of 
America.
  My training in the military dictated to me that when that flag goes 
up, we salute it. When you are in the military, you do not have the 
options of determining which is a right war, which is a moral war, and 
which is any other type of war that one likes or dislike. You do what 
you are told, and you fight for this great country.
  As Members of Congress, however, we had an opportunity to forge a 
resolution that would not have any doubt about our unequivocal support 
for our men and women not just tonight but as long as we are able to 
serve in this great body for this great country. But somehow we sought 
not to do this. Somehow, as the majority leader said on different 
occasions, we wanted to mix policy with praise. Our fighting men and 
women do not have an opportunity to deal with policy; and yet this is 
what we are asked to do, as the majority leader said, that we must 
congratulate and express the unequivocal support and appreciation of 
the Nation for a President who brought us where we are today. I do not 
like where we are today. I did not vote or support how we got where we 
are today. I am prepared to salute the Commander in Chief because he is 
in charge today, but why do you put me in the position that it even 
looks as though I am not supporting our men and women? Because I 
reserve the right as a Member of this body to disagree with this 
President or any other President as long as I am elected to serve my 
constituents.
  I am happy that I will have other occasions to show in a more vocal 
way

[[Page H2236]]

my unequivocal support for our brave fighting men and women.
  Mr. HUNTER. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from 
Minnesota (Mr. Kline), a gentleman with great experience in the U.S. 
Marine Corps.
  Mr. KLINE. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for yielding me this 
time.
  Mr. Speaker, I rise today to speak in favor of this resolution to 
commend our troops and to show our complete support for them. The men 
and women engaged in the struggle against the war on terrorism face a 
difficult challenge, and we have seen it tonight with the loss of 16 
servicemen. Whether directly involved in combat or serving in support 
roles, these brave individuals are responsible for providing protection 
to our allies and freedom to the people of Iraq.
  There are those who may have debated the United States's role in this 
conflict, and fairly so. But now is a time to rise above this debate 
and send one clear message to the men and women of our Armed Forces. 
These troops need to know that we support what they are doing. If we 
express doubt as to the validity and purpose and importance of what 
they are doing, I am afraid our support will sound hollow to their 
ears. Our message to these troops is one of gratitude for what they 
have done and what they will continue to do to advance the cause of 
peace and protect our national security. Our prayer tonight is one for 
fortitude that they can persevere throughout the battle and return 
safely to their families and their loved ones.
  We commend our troops for their service, and we pray for their 
safety.
  Mr. SKELTON. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1\1/2\ minutes to the gentlewoman 
from California (Ms. Watson).
  Ms. WATSON. Mr. Speaker, Abdul Henderson was called up as a Marine 
Reserve to go to Iraq. I am hoping and praying that he was not aboard 
that helicopter. As soon as I leave these Chambers, I will make a call 
out to Los Angeles.
  He is the son of one of my employees. We saw him off. I support and I 
honor our troops for they are following commands, and I think the most 
honorable thing we can do is take them out of harm's way.

                              {time}  0030

  There is no way I can support this resolution because it speaks to a 
war that I feel is unnecessary and unjustifiable.
  Even after we succeed in Iraq, is America going to be any safer? 
Because I remember the President talking about the Axis of Evil, Iran 
and North Korea. So I pray every day for our troops and their families. 
And let us do the right thing. Never, ever again should America do a 
preemptive strike. Why do we not do what we need to do, and that is go 
after Osama bin Laden, who has been proven to be an effective 
terrorist.
  Bring our men and women home, and let us honor them so they can come 
back to their families.
  God bless America.
  Mr. HUNTER. Mr. Speaker, I yield 4 minutes to the gentleman from 
Georgia (Mr. Collins).
  Mr. COLLINS. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for yielding me time.
  Mr. Speaker, I congratulate the gentleman from California (Chairman 
Hunter) and the gentleman from Missouri (Mr. Skelton) for bringing this 
resolution to the floor.
  Mr. Speaker, in early February, the Speaker asked five of us to 
travel to the Middle East, first stopping in Kurdistan, on into 
Uzbekistan. We attempted to get into Afghanistan, but, due to bad 
weather, we were unable to; and also on into Kuwait city.
  The purpose of that trip was to deliver a message from the Congress 
of the United States about the support that we have for Enduring 
Freedom and for the operation that is going on that they are carrying 
out today.
  On our visit to each of the stops, we had four ways of expressing our 
gratitude. One, we had banners, banners that had inscribed the words 
from the President's State of the Union Address, when he addressed the 
troops and said, you believe in America, and America believes in you. 
Those banners were signed by hundreds of people, not just Members of 
Congress, but people from across the country who visited here in 
Washington. Each of those banners was signed by the Commander in Chief.
  Another way that we had of expressing the gratitude of the Congress 
was a video, a 10-minute video which began with the Speaker of the 
House delivering a message personally, the Commanding General of Fort 
Benning, Georgia, people from the PX, people from the streets, also the 
gentlewoman from California (Ms. Harman), the gentleman from Georgia 
(Mr. Bishop), Vice President Dick Cheney, and ending by a message from 
the Commander in Chief, President Bush.
  The third way that we expressed our gratitude from the Congress was 
with a flag. We presented each stop, each unit that we visited, with a 
flag that had been previously flown over the Capitol of the United 
States.
  Five of us were traveling; the gentleman from New Jersey (Mr. 
Pascrell), the gentleman from Massachusetts (Mr. Capuano), the 
gentleman from Alabama (Mr. Everett), the gentleman from South Carolina 
(Mr. Wilson) and myself. Never once did we identify ourselves at any 
stop as other than Members of Congress. We did not carry a label by 
party, just Members of Congress, to express our gratitude.
  The fourth way was there in person, to personally deliver the 
message. We never heard one complaint, and we shook the hands of 
thousands of men and women in uniform. Not one complaint, but a lot of 
fine compliments to the Congress and to the Commander in Chief. Proud 
to serve both.
  But to our surprise in Uzbekistan, as we were presenting these gifts 
and expressions of gratitude of the Congress, they had a gift for the 
Congress. They had a flag that they had flown over the air base, K-2 in 
Uzbekistan, a forward operation base for Enduring Freedom. But not only 
did they fly it over the base, they put it aboard a C-130 gunship and 
flew it over Afghanistan, because they wanted to express to us their 
gratitude for what we do as Congress and for our Commander in Chief.
  Should we not be doing that today in the same fashion that the five 
of us traveled, as Members of Congress; not by party label, just 
Members of Congress, proud to be so, and proud of our soldiers and our 
airmen, our sailors, our marines, our Coast Guard.
  God bless each and every one, and God bless our Commander in Chief.
  Mr. SKELTON. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1\1/2\ minutes to the gentleman 
from Texas (Mr. Turner), the ranking member of the new Select Committee 
on Homeland Security.
  Mr. TURNER of Texas. Mr. Speaker, tonight American soldiers are 
crossing the deserts of Iraq to disarm Saddam Hussein. It is a mission 
that will present unknown dangers to our young men and women in 
uniform. They go not as conquerors, but as liberators. They seek no 
sovereignty over the Iraqi people, but seek to grant the opportunity 
for freedom and democracy to an oppressed people.
  Their mission is to disarm Saddam Hussein in accordance with the 
mandate of the United Nations Resolution 1441. Some would say that the 
task of disarmament might be accomplished without force, but none would 
deny that the threat of the use of force is the only credible tool in 
dealing with a dictator who has for 12 years defied the requirements of 
the resolutions of the United Nations.
  Our Nation vigorously sought to unite the world in this cause. Though 
some of our allies failed to face the reality of a brutal dictator who 
seeks to accumulate weapons of mass destruction, we are joined tonight 
by over 40 nations to confront this dictator who controls a nation that 
possesses the wealth to achieve his goals of military dominance.
  The policy of containment and mutual deterrence that worked 
successfully in the 20th century is not a strategy for security against 
the threats of weapons of mass destruction in the 21st century.
  We join together tonight in deep gratitude for the brave young men 
and women who courageously face the dangers of our mission. They join a 
long line of patriots who have given us the opportunity to live in 
peace and prosperity. May God bless and protect them, and may His hand 
guide them in the pursuit of the cause of freedom and justice for all.
  Mr. SKELTON. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentlewoman from 
California (Ms. Waters).

[[Page H2237]]

  Ms. WATERS. Mr. Speaker, some Members of this United States Congress 
support President Bush's preemptive strike against Iraq. Some Members 
have done their elected and patriotic duty and raised questions about 
the President's diplomatic failure and inability to resolve this 
conflict peacefully. However, every Member of Congress, Democrats and 
Republicans alike, strongly support our men and women in uniform.
  Why, then, could our Republican Members not agree to a clean-cut, 
clearly worded resolution of support for our soldiers? The Republican 
leadership chose to politicize this moment in history with a 
politically worded resolution designed to trap the opposition into 
supporting a war that we do not support. They have cheapened this 
debate by trying to use this resolution to legitimize this war. This 
war is neither legitimate nor necessary.
  No matter, our troops are in harm's way. We support our soldiers and 
their families and will do everything in our power to make sure our men 
and women in uniform are honored and respected as they bravely serve 
our country. And when they return home, my office and my staff are 
always available to our men and women in uniform, and we will work very 
hard for them.
  Mr. SKELTON. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentlewoman from 
California (Mrs. Davis).
  Mrs. DAVIS of California. Mr. Speaker, 50,000 marines and sailors who 
call San Diego home are officially at war, and I respect their courage 
and the skills they bring in defending our freedom. I have met with 
many of these families and with those who advocate on behalf of them, 
the ombudspeople who volunteer every day to ensure that parents and 
spouses and children get the support they need in times of peace and in 
times of war.
  I supported the resolution 2 weeks ago, and I will support it again 
tonight, because my support overrides honest differences that I and 
many of my constituents have in the course that we have taken.
  Jessica, whose fiance is a marine in the Gulf, sent in an article 
from San Diego today: ``Nobody wants war, but the troops need our 
support. They have the toughest job. I get to sleep in my bed 
tonight.''
  Mr. SKELTON. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentlewoman from 
Ohio (Mrs. Jones).
  Mrs. JONES of Ohio. Mr. Speaker, oh, freedom; oh freedom. I pledge my 
unequivocal support for the Armed Forces of the United States of 
America. I, too, have visited troops in Germany, Italy, Kosovo, Qatar, 
Bahrain and Hawaii.
  I have attended deployments of two units from the 11th Congressional 
District of Ohio. Their mothers and fathers asked me, why are we going 
to war, and why in Iraq? I could not answer their question, but I, too, 
gave them a flag, and asked them to bring it back to me safely.
  Oh, freedom; oh, freedom. Freedom includes the right to have free 
speech. Thank God I am free to speak in opposition to this resolution.
  Oh, freedom; oh, freedom. The young men and women of the Armed 
Forces, God bless you, God keep you, God surround you with his love. 
Oh, freedom; oh, freedom.
  Mr. SKELTON. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentlewoman from 
California (Ms. Eshoo).
  Ms. ESHOO. Mr. Speaker, I thank my very distinguished colleague, the 
gentleman from Missouri (Mr. Skelton), who, as he brings his 
distinguished service to this House, also is the distinguished father 
of a son who is serving tonight as we have this debate.
  Mr. Speaker, I rise tonight in support of this resolution; not 
because I like every single word that is in it, but the words that mean 
the most to me this evening are those that relate to and are connected 
to the treasures of our Nation, the sons and the daughters that are in 
harm's way this evening.
  They are the sons, they are the daughters; they are fathers, they are 
mothers; they are grandsons, they are granddaughters; they are nephews, 
they are nieces; and they are really the beloved of our Nation.
  I have raised questions about what would bring us to war. I stand in 
opposition to preemption, but tonight I do not believe is the night for 
that debate. We had it before; I think we will have it again.
  Our troops who wear the flag on their uniform may very well, some of 
them, come home with a flag draped around their coffin. So, tonight I 
think our entire Nation genuflects and prays for every single one of 
them.
  Let God watch over them and bring them home safely to the families 
who gave birth to them, to the families that love them, and to the 
families that had to bid farewell to them.
  God bless them, and God help us.
  Mr. SKELTON. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from 
Georgia (Mr. Lewis).
  Mr. LEWIS of Georgia. Mr. Speaker, this is a very sad day. I weep for 
my country tonight. I am sorry, very sorry, that we have arrived at 
this point.

                              {time}  0045

  Tonight I think the world is a much more dangerous place for all 
humankind.
  I want to make it clear that I support all of our young men and women 
who are in harm's way, and I pray and I pray for their safe return.
  But tonight, Mr. Speaker, I want to speak for peace. War is bloody 
and messy. It destroys the hopes, the dreams, and aspirations of a 
people. In all good conscience, I cannot and will not vote for a 
resolution that supports and endorses a failed policy that led us to 
war. War is never the answer. War is obsolete.
  The struggle for peace is as old as the dawn of history and as fresh 
as the morning dew. The struggle for peace is a struggle that lasts for 
more than 1 day, 1 week, 1 year, or more than a lifetime. But we must 
struggle.
  Is it possible, is it too much to ask? Maybe it is possible for 
humankind to evolve to a much higher level and lay down the tools of 
hate, violence, and war. If we want to create a beloved community, a 
community that is at peace with itself, if that is our end, if that is 
our goal, then our way must be one of love, one of nonviolence, one of 
peace.
  Tonight, Mr. Speaker, I ask God's blessing on our soldiers, and may 
God bless our little planet we call Earth.
  Mr. SKELTON. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentlewoman from 
Connecticut (Ms. DeLauro).
  Ms. DeLAURO. Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of this resolution.
  Today Congress stands in support of our Commander in Chief and our 
men and women in uniform. Tonight I join with all Americans in sending 
my thoughts and prayers to the men and women of our Armed Forces and 
their families. These brave soldiers have been entrusted with the 
ultimate responsibility of defending our freedom, and for this they 
have our unconditional support.
  Citizens of my State know all too well the sacrifices that are made 
in times like this. In my home State of Connecticut, 35 percent of all 
National Guard and Army reserve troops have already been deployed to 
not only Iraq, but throughout the world, the third highest amount of 
any State in the Union.
  We do not know what the days ahead for us will bring, yet it is the 
sincerest hope of every American that this conflict will be finished 
quickly and successfully. We hope there will be minimum casualties to 
our military and to the people of Iraq, and we will continue to pray 
for the safe return of these men and women to their families and their 
loved ones.
  This is a time for all Americans to join together, to let our troops 
know that we support them fully and completely, and that they are in 
our hearts.
  Mr. SKELTON. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from 
Michigan (Mr. Conyers), the ranking member on the Committee on the 
Judiciary.
  (Mr. CONYERS asked and was given permission to revise and extend his 
remarks.)
  Mr. CONYERS. Mr. Speaker, we gather here for a well-deserved tribute 
to our troops in the Middle East. Yet just before this, we were 
debating the President's budget which cruelly cut $25 billion of 
veterans benefits, including disabled veterans. Is this how Republicans 
would honor those who have made great sacrifices in defense of our 
country? Is that how they would boost the morale of our current troops? 
Every major veterans organization has denounced these cuts as 
unconscionable, but now the pending business before us is a little bit 
different.

[[Page H2238]]

  So I rise to reject these efforts to piggyback support for President 
Bush's dangerous policies on to a simple, but deserved, resolution 
supporting our troops. I trust the American people to see through this 
attempt to coerce endorsement of his ``preventive war'' doctrine.
  I fully support our troops and offer my prayers for their safe 
return. I am an Army veteran myself; I care deeply about their well-
being. And precisely for that reason, I cannot in good conscience vote 
for tonight's resolution, a carefully crafted document to force 
endorsement of President Bush's doctrine of preventive war, allowing 
him to attack countries whenever or wherever he chooses. I will not 
provide support for such a dangerous doctrine.
  For years to come, it will unnecessarily put current and future 
members of our Armed Forces in harm's way, even when our national 
security is not really threatened.
  Mr. Speaker, President Bush is about to unleash the dogs of war. He 
has set the clock ticking toward an unprecedented barrage of 
destruction dropped on a city of 6 million human beings. The barrage is 
oddly named the days of ``shock and awe.'' All Americans who hold human 
life precious should watch the clock run down, not with ``awe'' but 
with fear and trembling. The sad truth is that we are lurching towards 
an unnecessary war that President Bush seems determined to launch.
  Apparently, therefore, the brave young men and women of our Armed 
Forces are about to head into harm's way. We all offer them our support 
as they try to do their duty, and we send our prayers for their safe 
return. But we must also be faithful to our duty, a duty entrusted 
exclusively to the Congress by our Founding Fathers. That is the solemn 
duty to decide whether the United States should go to war.
  The Constitution's framers emphatically entrusted that decision to 
the Congress alone. They were adamant that the Executive not play a 
role--although once war began the Executive is the Commander-in-Chief 
to implement that decision. The Framers were so intent on excluding the 
President that they rejected an offer to share the power to declare war 
between the Congress and the Executive.
  I know that President Bush, and many of my colleagues believe that 
the Congress properly authorized war against Iraq last Fall, pursuant 
to Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution. I respectfully disagree. 
We have not performed our duty yet. Last fall Congress enacted a 
resolution that generally authorized the president to fight terrorism 
and to seek enforcement of previous U.N. Resolutions on Iraq. But in 
reality, that resolution bucked the duty constitutionally conferred on 
Congress to the President. It let the President decide to choose when 
and where and against whom to start a war. In short, it dodged the 
decision and sought to delegate an authority that may not be delegated.
  The administration's supporters argue that legal precedents allow the 
Congress to provide an authorization of war that is functionally 
equivalent to the now rarely-used formal Declaration of War. That 
entirely misses the point. It is not the format which is at issue; it 
is ``who decides?''
  It was clear, at that time, from the congressional debate, from 
Executive Branch statements, and from the resolution itself that the 
diplomatic route would be pursued first, by going through the U.N. 
Subsequently, in response to a broad national consensus, the U.S. 
spearheaded U.N. Security Council passage of Resolution 1441 that 
imposed a new inspection regime. In other words, it was clear last fall 
that the decision of whether to declare war was being put off for a 
later date.
  In the months since then, it has become increasingly clear that the 
decision on going to war would turn on two crucial assessments. The 
first would be an assessment of the results of that inspection program.
  The second assessment, and the ultimate judgment, would require 
weighing the implications of the inspection results and other 
information about what threat Iraq poses to the U.S. against the full 
costs--fiscal, diplomatic, casualties and increased terrorism--of going 
to war. Clearly these are not military judgments for a Commander-in-
Chief. They are precisely the kind of complex national policy judgments 
that the Founding Fathers conferred on the Congress in matters of war 
and peace.
  Yet in the present circumstances, the Congress has abdicated any role 
in that fateful decision. The entire world has been riveted on whether 
the American President would decide to declare war against 
Iraq. President Bush has brazenly told journalists and Members of 
Congress alike that it is his decision, and his decision alone. This is 
a perversion of the Constitution.

  Even if one argues that Congress properly exercised its 
constitutional duties, and that the President thereby has all necessary 
authority to start a war the fundamental questions remain. ``Why war?'' 
``Why now?'' And most importantly, ``Will waging war in Iraq make us 
more secure or less secure?''
  Bush's war would have disastrous consequences for every American. War 
is about devastation, destruction and death. The American people are 
not bloodthirsty. We want war only if our country is in imminent 
danger. Otherwise, a war's human and economic costs are too great. The 
human devastation of death, injury and destruction is obvious. In 
addition, it will rob us of resources urgently needed by America's 
working families and less fortunate.
  Even in terms of national security, an all-out war will rob Americans 
of hundreds of billions of dollars needed for the first line of defense 
in homeland security, on which we have made far too little progress 
since the tragedy of 9/11. As the President repeats his unverified 
mantra of ``threats to national security,'' cities across this land are 
laying off police, firemen, and emergency medical services teams--the 
so-call ``first responders'' to any new terrorist attack. They must do 
so because this Administration's ``first response'' to empty city 
treasuries across America has been one word: ``Tough.''
  This is not merely a partisan spat, nor a Washington insiders' policy 
dispute. The citizens' crusade to stop an immoral war in Iraq has been 
nothing less than a noble struggle for our Nation's soul. Thus far, 
that struggle has not succeeded. But we will not give up. We must 
commit ourselves to stopping hostilities and re-weaving the torn fabric 
of international organizations with the same dedication and urgency 
with which we strove to stop segregation and the Vietnam war, and 
finally brought our Government to its senses.
  President Bush repeatedly insists that for him ``war is a last 
resort.'' But his actions reveal that war was really his first choice, 
all along. His attempts to make it politically palatable by badgering, 
bullying and bribing countries into a counterfeit coalition have been a 
mere fig leaf transparent to the entire world.
  President Bush has failed to present compelling evidence that Iraq 
currently is a threat to our national security. One rationale after 
another has been disproved. The President, Vice President and Secretary 
of Defense have presented a kaleidoscope of ever-changing rationale as 
they tried to stay one jump ahead of ``truth squads'' exposing their 
disinformation--at the U.N., among skeptical Members of Congress and 
the media, and even in their own intelligence agencies.
  Americans have readily borne the burden of war when attacked or 
actually threatened. But America cannot, in good conscience, start a 
war so costly in blood and treasure simply on the basis of 
circumstantial evidence and speculation that, sometime in the 
unspecified future, Iraq may present an actual threat to the U.S.
  Bush's war against Iraq is:
  A war that will devastate a country of 26 million and cause damage 
that will take years to undo;
  A war that will see many American casualties, and that could fracture 
our fragile economy;
  A war that will destabilize the Middle East;
  A war that will swell the ranks of terrorist recruits;
  A war that will weaken our fight against terrorism, at home and 
abroad, and that will cost billions of dollars desperately needed for 
programs in Detroit and other cities;
  A war that will set a terrible precedent, in a world of growing 
numbers of nuclear states, for any country to launch a preventive war 
against opponents deemed a possible future threat; and
  A war not really wanted by the American people, our military 
commanders or our allies.
  Worst of all, it is a war that, as the CIA admits, will only make it 
more likely that Saddam would unleash whatever unconventional weapons 
he does have against our troops, Israel and our other allies. There is 
no evidence Saddam seeks to commit suicide. We deterred him from using 
weapons of mass destruction during Desert Storm. If he faces 
destruction, however, Saddam may well seek to play Sampson and pull 
down the Temple for lethal revenge.
  Last weekend, several of the Nation's leading newspapers seemed to 
suddenly discover all of these grave costs of war in Iraq. Article 
after article reported with an air of sudden discovery that:
  The war would drastically increase the likelihood of Saddam's using 
weapons of mass destruction;
  That it would almost certainly escalate dramatically terrorist 
attacks against Americans;
  That many U.S. military commanders feared it would undermine the real 
war against terrorism;
  That their could be extensive casualties among innocent Iraqi 
civilians; and
  That, even following a quick ``military victory'' against Saddam, we 
could be mired in

[[Page H2239]]

an Iraqi quicksand of tribal feuds and guerrilla warfare for years.
  I took cold comfort from the irony of the media's belated 
``discoveries.'' It would have been far more useful to their readers if 
the media had discovered this costly side of the war ledger months 
earlier. Instead, like the Administration, most media coverage focused 
only on whether, absent other concerns, it was desirable to prevent 
Saddam's pursuit of armaments and remove his regime--as if there were 
no competing costs on the other side of the ledger to be carefully 
weighed in deciding whether war would be a net plus for America.
  There is still time for President Bush to avoid starting the wrong 
war, in the wrong place, at the wrong time. There is still time--but 
precious little time--for the American people to speak out against a 
war that few of them support. If the war commences, there is time for 
it to be brought to a rapid end and areversion to diplomatic efforts 
and enhanced inspections.
  We should remember the warning of General Anthony Zinni. A 
distinguished Marine Commandant and head of U.S. Central Command, which 
guards the Middle East, Zinni reminded us that military commanders know 
the full horrors of war and hesitate to plunge ahead unless the 
national interest is clearly at stake. On the other hand, Zinni warned, 
those who have never worn a uniform or seen combat often are the 
quickest to beat the drums of war.
  Those are harsh words. The administration will condemn whoever utters 
them as partisan and unpatriotic--just as the Johnson White House 
condemned King's questioning of Vietnam. The Bush team has already 
spread that slander, in order to stop erosion of support for the war as 
the public learns the truth. Are the military veterans and retired 
generals opposed to this war unpatriotic? Are families of those who 
were killed on 9/11 and who oppose this war partisan? That is 
outrageous.
  I know many of my colleagues have in good faith been convinced that 
Iraq is a threat to us now. But they have been the target of a Niagara 
of propaganda, especially the Vice President's early insistence that 
Saddam was involved in 9/11 and that Saddam had nuclear weapons now--
both of which claims have long been disavowed by our intelligence 
community. Many other assertions and premises used by the 
administration to ``market their product,'' in the revealing phrase of 
the White House Chief of staff, have crumbled under close scrutiny.
  I would ask my colleagues who support the war to reconsider their 
view in light of these facts:
  Almost the entire world is strongly against this war; this includes 
the majority of the citizens of even those countries formally part of 
the ``coalition'';
  Every major city in America has gone on record against this war;
  The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, almost every major 
Protestant denomination, the American Labor movement and the NAACP are 
against this war;
  Leading retired U.S. military commanders such as General Zinni, and 
General Schwarzkopf--in his original unvarnished views--have voiced 
opposition to this war;
  Numerous active duty generals have told reporters off the record of 
their concerns about a war against Iraq; and
  General Scowcroft, who was also President George Herbert Walker 
Bush's National Security Advisory is against this war.
  And all of this opposition has arisen even before the war has 
started--an unprecedented phenomenon in human history. In view of these 
facts, I ask whether it is just possible that there is something amiss 
with the President's premises with his logic, and with his rejection of 
further effort to resolve the issues peacefully.
  I urge my colleague to reflect on these powerful facts and join me in 
pressing President Bush to find another way--to follow the path of 
peace. As the Bible teaches, ``Blessed are the Peacemakers.''
  Mr. SKELTON. Mr. Speaker, I yield such time as he may consume to the 
gentleman from California (Mr. Baca).
  (Mr. BACA asked and was given permission to revise and extend his 
remarks.)
  Mr. BACA. Mr. Speaker, as a veteran I stand behind our troops, and I 
ask everyone to get together in the form of solidarity.
  Mr. Speaker, several months ago, when we voted on the President's 
Iraq resolution, we all hoped war could be avoided, even though most of 
us believed deep down that it was a forgone conclusion. It was just a 
matter of when. Well, the day we all knew would come upon us. As we 
speak the U.S. Army 7th Calvary has engaged the enemy inside Iraq.
  This is a difficult dilemma. We hope and pray that Saddam does not 
have any weapons of mass destruction to use against our troops. My 
faith teaches me that only those who are without sin should cast the 
first stone in conflict. We have cast the stone, and we'll just have to 
wait and see what the effects will be.
  However, Mr. Speaker, none of that is important anymore. The most 
important issue we face as any war begins is how we are going to 
support our brave men and women in uniform. No matter how we feel about 
the prospect of waging war at this time, we must stand solidly behind 
our troops. Hundreds of soldiers from my district have already 
deployed. Thousands more from the Inland Empire and across California 
are heading to the Persian Gulf region. Even more Californians are 
serving our Nation in the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines all over 
the World. It saddens me to think that some of these men and women will 
not return home to their mothers and fathers, to their sons and 
daughters, to their husbands and wives.
  We can support our troops by keeping the promises we have made to our 
veterans, and by providing them with the benefits and healthcare that 
they have earned through their services to our Nation.
  Mr. Speaker, as I think about the lives that may be lost in the 
coming days and weeks, I ask myself one question. Could this situation 
have been avoided? Although I cannot answer this question with 100 
percent certainty, I have always believed that there was a diplomatic 
solution to the Iraq crisis. I believed that when I voted for a 
resolution in October authorizing the President to use our armed forces 
in support of any U.N. resolution mandating the disarmament of Saddam 
Hussein. Mr. Speaker, I still believe that now. Unfortunately, the 
diplomatic window is closed. Diplomacy no longer seems to be an option.
  But I want my colleagues to hear me when I say this. Now is not the 
time to debate misguided or unsuccessful policies. Now is the time to 
come together and support our brave men and women in uniform. We must 
let them and their families know that we appreciate their sacrifice. 
Let us rally around our troops and show the world that our Nation 
stands united. I hope the unity that Members on both sides of the aisle 
are showing tonight sends a strong signal to our troops. We are 
thinking of you and praying for you.
  Mr. Speaker, I do have one request. I ask my constituents, and every 
American, to light a candle and pray for our troops and pray for all 
the innocent victims of this war.
  Mr. SKELTON. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman from New 
Jersey (Mr. Andrews).
  (Mr. ANDREWS asked and was given permission to revise and extend his 
remarks.)
  Mr. ANDREWS. Mr. Speaker, at times of great stress, great patriots 
rise to the occasion. Tonight there are young Americans who are rising 
to the occasion as they traverse across the desert sands of Iraq, as 
they soar across the unfriendly skies of Iraq, as they serve on naval 
ships. Tonight their families have risen to the occasion, as they sadly 
note the empty place at the dinner table, the bedtime story not read to 
a young son or daughter, or as they stare at the photograph on the 
mantel piece and wish that he or she were at home with them.
  I know that every Member who has spoken tonight is a great patriot. 
Every Member who has spoken on both sides loves their country. And I 
know that many feel a sincere sense of doubt about some of the words 
that are in tonight's resolution. I would implore every Member, though, 
to try to rise to the occasion and rise above the words and rise to a 
symbol of unity that says to every one of these young men and women 
that their interests are our prime interests. I would ask every Member 
to support this resolution.
  Mr. HUNTER. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman from New Jersey (Mr. 
Andrews) for his great work on the committee.
  Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the gentleman from Maryland (Mr. 
Gilchrest), who was a distinguished Marine rifleman in Vietnam.
  Mr. GILCHREST. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for yielding me 
this time, and I thank him and the gentleman from Missouri (Mr. 
Skelton), my good friend, the two of them, for bringing this resolution 
to the floor.
  We all remember the words of Thomas Jefferson: ``We hold these truths 
to be self-evident that all men are created equal, that they are 
endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights and among 
these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.''
  And we remember the words of Abraham Lincoln: ``With malice toward 
none, with charity for all, let us work together to bind up the 
Nation's wounds.''
  And another century passing by, we remember Martin Luther King, Jr. 
and his dream that little children will not

[[Page H2240]]

be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their 
character.
  This great Nation of ours has seen periods of great joy, wretched 
despair, and great sacrifice. And still, we come, children of 
democracy, again here tonight to find our place in history. Our young 
men and women, once again on the front lines of history, once again in 
anticipation of great joy, although for some there will be wretched 
despair because some will not come home, we give them our praise and 
support for the sacrifice that they are now enduring as they bear the 
greatest burden of preserving and restoring freedom during this present 
crisis.
  Mr. Speaker, I would like to close with a very familiar poem by a 
Canadian soldier during World War I who did not make it home:

     ``In Flanders fields the poppies blow
     Between the crosses, row by row
     That mark our place; and in the sky
     The larks, still bravely singing, fly
     Scarce heard amid the guns below.

     ``We are the Dead. Short days ago
     We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
     Loved and were loved, and now we lie
     In Flanders fields.''

     Those who lie in Flanders fields said,
     ``Take up our quarrel with the foe:
     To you from failing hands we throw
     The torch; be yours to hold it high.
     If ye break faith with us who die
     We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
     In Flanders fields.''

  The Americans in the Middle East are bearing the burden of the 
present crisis, and we come here tonight to mix and to mingle and to 
speak and to have differences, but the unity of this Congress, the 
unity of this Nation will linger for decades to come.
  I stand here tonight to support the resolution.
  Mr. SKELTON. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from 
Massachusetts (Mr. Frank).
  Mr. FRANK of Massachusetts. Mr. Speaker, it is sadly too late for 
truth to be the first casualty of this war, because we have already had 
brave people killed. But truth is taking a beating tonight.
  We had the floor manager of this bill object to efforts to 
democratize the process and give Members more choice to make real votes 
in the name of letting the House work its will. He blocked unanimous 
consent requests that would have allowed amendments, that would have 
allowed separated votes, theoretically in the name of democracy. We had 
another gentleman from California come and say, ``let us not make this 
partisan,'' in defense of a resolution that is very partisan, that is 
drafted in a way that will minimize, rather than maximize, the goal 
Members pretend to want to be in favor of.
  We have had Members who savaged Bill Clinton during the war in 
Kosovo, now announcing their convergence to the doctrine that once the 
guns start, the President is untouchable. Why? To use the unanimous 
admiration felt in this House for our troops for political purposes.
  The gentleman from California who is managing the bill asked before, 
he said, people will be watching and they will say to us on the 
Democratic side, what are you doing? I will tell them what we were 
trying to do. We were trying to stop the Republicans from taking the 
troops politically hostage to serve the President's political purposes. 
We were trying not to allow the support that is unanimously felt for 
the troops, the admiration for their courage, the sympathy for the 
plight that their families are in; we did not want that used to puff up 
support that does not exist for decisions made by the President.
  Sadly, we failed, because the majority used its control of this body, 
and so Members were put in an unfortunate position. But let us be very 
clear. Had the majority wanted to do it, there would have been a 
unanimous vote in this House, every Member voting, in support of the 
troops. The resolution, those parts of it that support the troops would 
have been unanimous. Unfortunately, partisanship has resulted in what 
will be a diminution in the vote that is cast for the support for the 
troops.

                              {time}  0100

  Mr. SKELTON. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman from 
Georgia (Mr. Scott).
  Mr. SCOTT of Georgia. Mr. Speaker, I thank the distinguished ranking 
leader for yielding time to me.
  I stand with great pride and respect in support of this resolution. I 
support our brave and courageous troops. I support their mission and 
their Commander in Chief. It is very difficult for me to stand here and 
say I support the troops and not their mission, and not the Commander 
in Chief that sent them in harm's way.
  Mr. Speaker, we did not ask for this war. It was brought to us 
unexpectedly, without warning, savagely, tragically by terrorist 
suicide bombers, terrorists who are desperately trying to get their 
hands on weapons of mass destruction. Biological and chemical weapons, 
biological and chemical weapons are being manufactured by the tens of 
thousands of tons by Saddam Hussein of Iraq. What other choice would we 
have?
  The least this Congress can do on a night when we are losing our 
military men, with their lives on the line, is to stand here together, 
Democrat and Republican, and support this resolution, and send a proud 
message to our men and women in uniform that we are here to stand with 
them, and stand in the evil day, and stand.
  God bless America, God bless our troops, and thank God that we have 
got these courageous men and women who are willing to put their lives 
on the line. It is with great pride that I stand here to support this 
very worthwhile and important resolution.


                Announcement by the Speaker Pro Tempore

  The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. Shimkus). The Chair will remind all 
Members that there is a rumbling of noise out in the aisles, and ask 
Members to keep their conversations down or remove them to the 
cloakroom.
  Mr. HUNTER. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from New 
Mexico (Mr. Pearce).
  (Mr. PEARCE asked and was given permission to revise and extend his 
remarks.)
  Mr. PEARCE. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for bringing this 
resolution to the body. I salute the comments of the gentleman just 
prior to me. I appreciate the observations.
  The Second Congressional District of New Mexico is home to the 
Stealth fighters, the ones who launched the attacks last night. I know 
personally some of the men and women of that unit, and recognize and 
know personally some of the National Guard and Reserve troops who are 
called up. I recognize the sacrifices of their family.
  In 1967, I won the lottery. As a result of winning the draft lottery, 
I went for 3\1/2\ years into Vietnam, from the period of 1971 to 1974. 
I watched personally as a political discussion devolved into disrespect 
and disregard for what our troops were doing there: the insults, the 
spitting on, the disrespect that was given to our troops that emanated 
from a political discussion.
  I hope that political discussion does not take the same road now; for 
even today when I see those Vietnam veterans who were disregarded so 
much on their return, their simple greeting is, welcome home, brother; 
and it is done with tears in the eyes of people who faced death every 
day.
  I served at that time without regard for who my Commander in Chief 
was as far as a politician, but instead, of the duty that I was called 
to perform. I think our young men and women today are doing the same 
thing. I respect the sacrifices that their families make; I respect the 
sacrifices that they themselves make. I ask that we keep them in our 
prayers.
  I support the resolution, and I thank the gentleman for bringing it.
  Mr. SKELTON. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1\1/2\ minutes to the gentleman 
from Texas (Mr. Doggett).
  Mr. DOGGETT. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for yielding time to 
me.
  For the sacrifices of our sons and daughters in uniform and that of 
their families, no mere resolution or series of resolutions suffices to 
express our gratitude.
  Because the support for our troops is so very strong and the 
justification for the administration's reckless first-strike doctrine 
is so very weak, this resolution relies on the pride that all of us 
feel for our troops in order to carry this weak policy, this faulty and 
unworthy policy that is so faulty it cannot stand on its own merits, it 
has to be clumped with the sacrifices of the men and women who serve 
America tonight in the Persian Gulf.
  Just as this administration has failed completely to provide the 
slightest

[[Page H2241]]

link between Saddam Hussein and 9-11, this resolution mistakenly links 
the invasion of Iraq to the war on terrorism. I support that war. I 
recognize that containment and disarmament may not end all wars, but 
they are clearly superior to the new first-strike policy that risks 
wars without end.
  This resolution could have been the one the Senate adopted today by 
99 votes. It was good enough for Majority Leader Frist, it was good 
enough for John Warner, but it did not go to the extremes that our 
colleagues want.
  We could have all accepted my request that we approve by unanimous 
consent support for our troops and families, but they did not have that 
in mind. They want this back-door approval. We will not be intimidated 
into silence. If we were to do that, we would be abandoning the very 
democracy we are pledged to serve and that they tonight defend.
  Mr. SKELTON. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman from 
Texas (Mr. Edwards).
  Mr. EDWARDS. Mr. Speaker, 12 years ago I helped welcome home 235,000 
Army soldiers from my district who had fought in Desert Storm. I saw 
firsthand how much it meant to them, to those brave Americans, that our 
Nation respected their service to country; and that is why I join my 
colleagues tonight in strong support of this resolution.
  But, Mr. Speaker, I am concerned that a majority of my colleagues in 
less than 1 hour after this vote will support a budget resolution that 
the American Legion, the Disabled American Veterans, and the Veterans 
of Foreign Wars have called ``callous and unconscionable'' in its 
treatment of veterans.
  Today's troops are tomorrow's veterans. They will watch our deeds 
even more than our words. So in the spirit of supporting our troops, I 
propose that we reduce this morning the proposed dividend tax cut by 
less than 10 percent so we do not have to cut veterans services by $8 
billion. Let us honor today's troops and tomorrow's veterans with our 
words and our deeds.
  Mr. SKELTON. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2\1/2\ minutes to the gentlewoman 
from Texas (Ms. Jackson-Lee).
  (Ms. JACKSON-LEE of Texas asked and was given permission to revise 
and extend her remarks.)
  Ms. JACKSON-LEE of Texas. Mr. Speaker, Members will hear me say 
nothing tonight other than that we have the bravest, the most valiant, 
the most courageous young men and women in the world standing for our 
freedom.
  But what I will say, Mr. Speaker, is that there is a need to speak 
the truth. The first truth is that we have lost brave young men and 
women already, and my deepest sympathy and affection and love for those 
families. I know full well the burying of young men and women who 
served in the United States military. I sat at the funeral of one in my 
constituency, and the family still mourns.
  So I rise tonight to stand on the side of peace over war and life 
over death. I remind this Congress that we are best when we understand 
what freedom is all about. Democracy is more than words; it is 
practice. So I agree with Hubert Humphrey when he said, what we need 
are critical lovers of America, patriots who express their faith in 
their country by working to improve it.
  I stand before the Members to say that I commend and express the 
gratitude of the Nation to all Members of the United States Armed 
Forces, whether on active duty, in the National Guard, or in the 
Reserves, and the civilian employees who support their efforts, as well 
as the men and women of civilian national security agencies who are 
participating in the military operations of the Persian Gulf region, 
for their professional excellence, dedicated patriotism, and exemplary 
bravery.
  Mr. Speaker, I will stand undivided in commending the brave men and 
women tonight, but I will also go to my death for the right to stand to 
save lives. I would clearly remind those who feel we are dividing the 
caucus, the Nation, the world, to be reminded that my voice is hoarse 
but my spirit is not broken; for I remind Members of Secretary of 
Defense Robert McNamara, who wished that he had been able to stand more 
than 30 years ago to be able to save the lives of 58,000 brave young 
men and women in the Vietnam War. There are Vietnam veterans, and some 
came home, thank God. But I would rather be able to say that I stand, 
as I said, for life over death.
  I thank Members for democracy that allows variety. You will never 
hear me say an unkind word of the Commander in Chief. I stand undivided 
and in support of the troops of the United States of America.
  First and foremost, whether our valiant men and women of the United 
States Military are away from home to fight a war, to protect a peace, 
or to enforce disarmament, they will have the full support of the U.S. 
Congress. We will take every possible step to ensure that they are 
protected from potential attacks and a difficult environment, that they 
have the support they need to do their jobs effectively and 
efficiently, and that we bring them home safely as soon as practicable. 
I cite my support by referring to Sen. Con. Res. 26.

       The Congress: Commends and expresses the gratitude of the 
     Nation to all members of the United States Armed Forces 
     (whether on active duty, in the National Guard, or in the 
     Reserves) and the civilian employees who support their 
     efforts, as well as the men and women of civilian national 
     security agencies who are participating in the military 
     operations in the Persian Gulf region for their professional 
     excellence, dedicated patriotism and exemplary bravery;
       Commends and expresses the gratitude of the Nation to the 
     family members of soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines and 
     civilians serving in operations against Iraq who have borne 
     the burden of sacrifice and separation from their loved ones;
       Expresses its deep condolences to the families of brave 
     Americans who have lost their lives in this noble 
     undertaking, over many year, against Iraq;
       Joins all Americans in remembering those who lost their 
     lives during Operation Desert Shield and Operation Desert 
     Storm in 1991, those still missing from that conflict, 
     including Captain Scott Speicher, USN, and the thousands of 
     Americans who have lost their lives in terrorist attacks over 
     the years, and in the Global War on Terrorism

  I continue to cite my support by referring to H. Con. Res. 104.

       Whereas the United States Armed Forces, a total force 
     comprised of active, National Guard, and Reserve personnel, 
     are now undertaking courageous and determined operations 
     against the forces of Saddam Hussein's regime;
       Whereas the Senate and House of Representatives and the 
     American people have the greatest pride in the members of the 
     Armed Forces and strongly support them;
       Whereas the United States Armed Forces and allied forces 
     are performing their missions with great courage;
       Whereas the ability of the Armed Forces to successfully 
     perform their mission requires the support of their nation, 
     community, and families: Be it
       Resolved by the House of Representatives, That the Congress 
     expresses the unequivocal support and appreciation of the 
     Nation:
       To the President as Commander-in-Chief for his firm 
     leadership [in the] ongoing Global War on Terrorism; to the 
     members of the United States Armed Forces serving in 
     Operation Iraqi Freedom, who are carrying out their missions 
     with excellence, patriot-ism, and bravery; and to the 
     families of the United States military personnel serving in 
     Operation Iraqi Freedom, who are providing support and 
     prayers for their loved ones currently engaged in military 
     operations in Iraq.

  When history is recorded as I stand on this floor tonight, my words 
will note that I stand undivided from the troops. I have nothing but 
the greatest honor, respect, and admiration for their courage and their 
unselfishness.
  May God have mercy on their families, and bless them in this time of 
challenge. And may God give all of our troops the fortitude, strength, 
and resolve to get their jobs done and then to get back home to their 
loved ones.
  And for those whom we will never see again, they will remain heroes . 
. . throughout time, never forgotten, Partiots until the end.
  God bless them, and God Bless the United States of America.
  Mr. HUNTER. Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the gentlewoman from 
Colorado (Mrs. Musgrave), who has a son in the United States Navy.
  Mrs. MUSGRAVE. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for yielding time 
to me.
  Mr. Speaker, as I sat last night in front of the TV, I could not take 
my eyes off of the images that I was seeing because, as a mother, I was 
thinking of my son. The gentlemen know that a mother's love is 
different than a father's love.
  As I sat there, I thought of my grandmother, who sent two young sons 
off to war. I thought of my uncle, who was missing in action for over 
13 months; of how the family felt when they did not know whether he was 
dead or alive. I

[[Page H2242]]

thought of my brother-in-law, who served in Korea. I thought of him 
because that, as you know, is the forgotten war. I thought of my 
brother who served in Germany.
  I thought of the heroes among us in this Chamber, the veterans that 
we love and we honor. I thought of when I first shook the hand of the 
gentleman from Texas (Mr. Sam Johnson). When I found out why his hand 
was crippled, I thought of how I wanted to kiss his hand and honor him.
  Tonight, with a mother's heart, I want to say, God bless each one of 
the young men and women who are serving us. God bless their families 
that have made the sacrifice. When we are away from our loved ones, we 
want to hold them; and we are holding them in our hearts.
  Today I got an e-mail from John, and it touched me. Let me just share 
it with you:
  ``Hey, everyone, I just wanted to drop an e-mail to you to let you 
know I am doing great and that I am safe and sound. Here on the ship, 
the spirits are high. Everyone is going about their business like we do 
every day. Everyone here is united in the spirit of what we are doing. 
It gives us a sense of how important our job really is. All the late 
hours, all the things we put up with, are now justified.
  ``Just wanted to give you a quick update and thank you for your 
thoughts and your prayers.''
  Tonight my thoughts and prayers are with our Commander in Chief. I 
pray that the Lord would give him wisdom. I pray for the team that he 
has surrounded himself with. I pray for the families whose young people 
are serving.
  I want to give a clear message to every one of those young men and 
young women: never again in this Nation should we tell anyone who is 
serving that we do not appreciate what they have done, because we 
appreciate every one of them. We love them and we hold them in our 
hearts tonight. God willing they will come home so we can hold them in 
our arms again.
  Mr. SKELTON. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman from New 
York (Mr. Crowley).
  Mr. CROWLEY. Mr. Speaker, of the over 200,000 men and women who are 
in and around Iraq this evening, I want to just touch on one person who 
was highlighted today in the New York Times, Captain Cynthia Brito from 
Woodside, Queens, my hometown. She is the daughter of Ecuadoran 
immigrants Angel Brito, a limousine driver, and his wife Ines, a 
jewelry worker.

                              {time}  0115

  Captain Brito is a graduate from Fordham University in the Bronx, and 
she is serving as a dentist in the Army in the 561st Medical Company of 
V Corps.
  Captain Brito represents the best of the men and women who are 
fighting on our behalf on the front lines. She is the daughter of 
immigrants, a female officer in a male-dominated Army, and a dentist 
with medical training. We know that she will be on the front line.
  So much this evening has been said about the war, and I do not think 
enough has been said about our young men and women troops fighting over 
there. These mostly young men and women like Captain Brito are the ones 
truly making the sacrifice for our country.
  Men, women, white, African American, Latino, Asian, Christian, Jews 
and Muslims, they are all the faces of this country. Our prayers go out 
to each and every one of them this evening and to all their families, 
especially to Cynthia Brito, who makes all of us proud.
  Mr. SKELTON. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman from New 
York (Mr. Meeks).
  Mr. MEEKS of New York. Mr. Speaker, let me say to the troops, to our 
troops overseas and everywhere in the world, thank you. I thank them 
for their bravery, thank them for their courage, thank them for 
believing in this Nation, thank them for being willing to give their 
life for our freedom. We love them, we support them, and I am sure that 
is all 535 Members of Congress.
  As I look at this resolution, to me it is like a contract, and if a 
person signs a contract, that means they agree with everything in the 
contract. I do not agree with the doctrine of preemptive strike. 
Therefore, as to page 4, line 4 through 7, I disagree, and therefore, I 
cannot sign on to this contract.
  I really wanted to sign on to and vote for this resolution, and we 
had an opportunity to speak as one Congress, House-Senate alike, 
sending the same message. That is unity. What a great opportunity we 
had. What a great opportunity we missed.
  Mr. SKELTON. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman from Ohio 
(Mr. Strickland).
  Mr. STRICKLAND. Mr. Speaker, I stand tonight in support of this 
resolution not because I agree with the decisions that have brought us 
to this moment, but because I love, honor and revere those brave young 
Americans who are fighting for us even as we sit in this Chamber at 
this late hour.
  I am troubled tonight because I believe one way we honor our current 
troops fighting in Iraq and around the world is to honor those who have 
served before them, our veterans, veterans like my brother who turned 
79 years old last week and who served our Nation in World War II.
  Very soon the vast majority of us will vote for this resolution to 
honor our troops, as we should. I am troubled that soon thereafter many 
of my colleagues in this Chamber will cast another vote, a vote that 
will cut $28 billion from veterans' benefits. I am puzzled that so many 
would salute the troops with one hand and vote to cut $28 billion from 
veterans' benefits with the other hand.
  I urge my colleagues to vote yes for this resolution and to vote no 
for the budget resolution.
  Mr. SKELTON. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman from New 
York (Mr. Nadler).
  Mr. NADLER. Mr. Speaker, last October I thought that it was 
absolutely necessary to disarm Saddam Hussein. I still think so, but I 
thought then and I think now that Saddam could have been disarmed 
without resort to war. So I voted against the resolution giving the 
President complete authority to use military force at his sole 
discretion.
  Now our country is at war and our young people in harm's way. I 
unequivocally support our troops in their valiant role, and I, 
therefore, support this resolution.
  This resolution expresses support for our troops and for their 
families and for the President's leadership ``in the conduct of 
military operations in Iraq,'' and only for his conduct of those 
military operations. It does not, as some have said, express support 
for the President's decision to resort to war or for the 
administration's diplomacy that has led us to war.
  Our troops and their families deserve our support, and I will express 
my support for them by voting for this resolution.
  Mr. SKELTON. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentlewoman from 
California (Ms. Woolsey).
  (Ms. WOOLSEY asked and was given permission to revise and extend her 
remarks.)
  Ms. WOOLSEY. Mr. Speaker, I disagree with this war, but I will always 
support our brave men and women in uniform and their families. They 
must be treated with dignity and respect, both while the battles are 
being fought and when they come home.
  This means that our soldiers have the best military equipment and 
protective gear and that their families are cared for while they are 
away. The children and spouses of our military must not be on welfare 
rolls, and they must not have to survive off of food stamps or live in 
substandard homes.
  The families of reservists and the National Guard should not suffer 
economically while their loved ones are called up for Active Duty. The 
families of enlisted soldiers must have salaries adequate to lift them 
out of poverty, and the United States must fulfill its promises by 
providing all necessary care and promised benefits to our enlisted and 
Reserve military personnel as active members and as veterans.
  Mr. SKELTON. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman from 
Florida (Mr. Meek), who is a member of the Committee on Armed Services.
  (Mr. MEEK of Florida asked and was given permission to revise and 
extend his remarks.)
  Mr. MEEK of Florida. Mr. Speaker, I am proud to stand here tonight to 
endorse this resolution, but I must say that this resolution has 
language like

[[Page H2243]]

many pieces of legislation that moves through the body of this 
Congress. There is language in it that I do not agree with, and I am 
glad that I am able to state that as an American, but I think it is 
important that we remember that boys and girls, I mean teenagers, I 
also mean mothers and fathers, I also mean sons and daughters, are 
getting sand in their teeth right now defending our country, and I 
think it is important we send a very strong message to not only their 
families, but to their loved ones that this Congress stands firmly 
behind them.
  I respect the Members that are going to vote for the resolution. I 
respect the Members that are not going to vote for this resolution, and 
I commend their patriotism for standing up for what they believe in, 
but I think it is imperative that we remember that we must have 
resolutions that every Member of this Congress can vote for because we 
are all patriots, and we all believe in the American way, and it is 
important that American families understand that we are together and 
united always when it comes down to defending this country.
  Mr. SKELTON. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman from New 
York (Mr. Engel).
  Mr. ENGEL. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for yielding me the 
time, and I rise in support of this resolution.
  I do not necessarily agree with every word of the resolution, but how 
many times have all of us voted for bills and resolutions that we do 
not agree with 100 percent? We have to make a choice, and I choose to 
support our troops. That is clearly the thrust of this resolution, to 
support the brave men and women that do us all proud.
  War is never easy. War should always be a last resort, and while we 
can question the policies of any administration, the men and women that 
go to preserve freedom for our great country, we owe them our deepest 
gratitude.
  I think it is very fitting that the Congress show our brave men and 
women that we strongly support them and that we join hands regardless 
of how some of us may feel about policy.
  I voted to give the President the authority, and I think that now is 
the time to stand behind our President, to stand behind our troops and 
to move forward with one voice. Support the resolution.
  Mr. HUNTER. Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the gentleman from 
Texas (Mr. Burgess).
  (Mr. BURGESS asked and was given permission to revise and extend his 
remarks.)
  Mr. BURGESS. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for yielding me the 
time.
  I rise this morning to honor the men and women of our armed services 
by supporting the support the troops resolution.
  I believe the time has come for Americans to put aside our 
differences concerning Operation Iraqi Freedom and to stand together to 
show solidarity for the men and women in our Armed Forces. It is time 
for all Americans to show their support for the mothers and fathers, 
the sons and daughters and friends and loved ones who are serving our 
Nation and defending our freedom.
  Our Nation, at the guidance of our President, is facing the 
inevitable action in Iraq. War is something that we would never dream 
of for our children to see or to hear. There comes a time, however, 
when we must unite together and show the enemy that we will stand up 
for our freedoms, freedoms that our forefathers fought for and won, and 
we will fight to ensure that the United States remains a beacon of hope 
and freedom that brightens the world.
  One woman in my district, Judith Allen of Denton, Texas, has done her 
part. After saying good-bye to her son, Private Joseph Paul Terrace, 
who is part of the Army's 101st Airborne Division, Judith formed the 
Military Support Group of Denton, Texas. The group is open to families 
and friends with loved ones in the Armed Forces.
  Judith's son answered the call to duty and said in a recent interview 
with the Denton Record Chronicle, ``Nobody actually wants to go to war, 
but they want to do their job, and they want to keep people safe, and 
we realize how much a real threat things are these days.''
  In my home county of Denton, Texas, county Judge Mary Horn and her 
husband Jim have a son also named Jim who is now in an undisclosed 
region in the Gulf. Keith Self, a man who was in the Republican primary 
with me in our six-way primary last spring, we were opposed during the 
primary, but we became friends and have remained friends since that 
time, Lieutenant Colonel Self was recalled to Active Duty and now 
serves in an undisclosed location in the Gulf.
  My own son Mike serves in the Air National Guard in Fort Worth, 
Texas. While he has not been called into Active Duty, part of his unit 
has and is now in an undisclosed location in the Gulf.
  I do not believe that in our ordinary life we think about the 
sacrifices that our U.S. military personnel make, from the hardship of 
time away from families and children to the hundreds of reservists who 
unselfishly answer the call to duty. These men and women protect our 
borders, shield our skies, guard our country, believe in America and 
support our President. These brave souls will march the same steps of 
previous generations who gave of their lives to defend our homeland and 
to secure the blessings of liberty for our country and for generations 
to come.
  While our troops and allies exemplify the true spirit of patriotism, 
we, the citizens at home, must remain united for freedom and show the 
world we believe in liberty more than the horror of allowing a deadly 
dictator to threaten the security of liberty.
  Mr. SKELTON. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman from Iowa 
(Mr. Boswell), an Army veteran and distinguished Member of this body.
  Mr. BOSWELL. Mr. Speaker, it is a pleasure for me to come and stand 
before my colleagues this evening, and regardless of how we got here, I 
think the time has come that we ought to stand together for the troops, 
and so I appreciate the gentleman from California (Mr. Hunter) and the 
gentleman from Missouri (Mr. Skelton) for bringing this to the floor.
  I have to reflect on some things, as many of us have done, veterans 
here, as many of us are, and the lack of support for the two times I 
went to Vietnam. I was reflecting on that this last Monday when I went 
to three different communities to activate troops, went off from Fort 
Riley and will go to the Middle East.
  I looked at the faces of the men and women and the uniform, and I 
realized how much I appreciated when that gymnasium in these three 
different towns, three different locations, that was packed to the 
walls, the support of the families and the community was so meaningful 
and so special and so appreciated.

                              {time}  0130

  So I support the resolution, and I encourage Members to support it, 
to support our men and women in uniform. God bless America.
  Mr. SKELTON. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman from 
American Samoa (Mr. Faleomavaega).
  (Mr. FALEOMAVAEGA asked and was given permission to revise and extend 
his remarks.)
  Mr. FALEOMAVAEGA. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman from California 
(Mr. Hunter), the chairman of the Committee on Armed Services, and the 
gentleman from Missouri (Mr. Skelton), the ranking member, for bringing 
this resolution to the floor to express our support for our citizen 
soldiers, all of our men and women who proudly wear the uniform of our 
armed services, as they are now in harm's way fighting the war against 
terror in Iraq.
  Mr. Speaker, I am not here to debate the substance of the merits of 
the war, but only to express our support, especially for the families 
and loved ones who anxiously wait and wonder if their husbands, wives, 
brothers and sisters, mothers or fathers, aunts and uncles and friends 
will return from the war.
  As a Vietnam veteran, nothing warms the hearts and minds of our 
soldiers, sailors, airmen or Marines more than to know that we here in 
this Chamber support and pray for their welfare, knowing that at any 
moment our men and women in the military walk a very thin line between 
life and death.
  Mr. Speaker, the words of Martin Luther King, Jr., ring well in my 
ears tonight. He said, ``In the end, we will not remember the words of 
our enemies, but the silence of our friends.''

[[Page H2244]]

  Mr. Speaker, God bless our men and women in the Armed Forces.
  Mr. Speaker, I thank the distinguished Chairman of the Armed Services 
Committee (Mr. Hunter) and our senior ranking member, Mr. Skelton, for 
bringing this resolution to the floor, to express our fullest support 
for our citizens-soldiers--all our men and women who proudly wear the 
uniforms of our armed services, as they are now in harm's way fighting 
the war in Iraq.
  I am not here to debate the substance or the merits of the war, but 
only to express our support especially for the families and loved ones 
who anxiously wait and wonder if their husbands and wives, fathers, 
mothers, brothers and sisters, uncles and aunts and friends will return 
from the war.
  As a Vietnam veteran, Mr. Speaker, nothing warms the hearts and minds 
of our soldiers, our sailors, our marines and our airmen more than to 
know that we here in this Chamber support and pray for their welfare--
knowing that any moment our men and women in the military walk a very 
thin line between life and death.
  Mr. Speaker, the words of Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. rings well in 
my ears tonight. He said, ``In the end, we will not remember the words 
of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.''
  Mr. Speaker, as the most powerful military power in the world, we 
need to also be reminded of a statement made centuries ago by 
Thucydides who said, ``Of all manifestations of power, restraint 
impresses most men.''
  Mr. Speaker, God bless our men and women in the armed forces.
  Mr. SKELTON. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentlewoman from 
California (Ms. Lofgren).
  Ms. LOFGREN. Mr. Speaker, there is one thing we all agree upon, we 
are grateful to our troops and their families. We respect the men and 
women in our Armed Forces, and we admire their patriotism and bravery. 
We all recognize that no matter what the policy disagreements about the 
steps that took us to this day of invasion, our troops are doing their 
duty and putting their bodies on the line for our country. They are in 
our prayers, and we all hope for a speedy conclusion and a safe return 
for each of them.
  How fine it would have been if the right-wingers in charge of this 
House had put aside their partisanship for just this evening and agreed 
to write a clean resolution that supported our troops; but no. One can 
always count on them to try to wedge an issue, divide people and make 
partisan what should be purely American.
  There are plenty of things in this resolution that are just not true, 
but I am going to vote for it because of clause 2 and 3. I do support 
and appreciate our Armed Forces and their families. I cannot say the 
same thing about the gentleman from Texas (Mr. DeLay) and the rest of 
the Republican leaders who once again have proven by their actions this 
evening that they are more interested in partisan advantage for their 
party than unity and success for our country. They dishonor our 
soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines who are the real patriots we seek 
to honor by this resolution.
  Mr. HUNTER. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  Mr. Speaker, I just say to the gentleman from Missouri (Mr. Skelton) 
and ranking member on the Committee on Armed Services, that I would 
hope that the gentleman would discourage Members like the Member who 
just spoke from using this time when we are supposed to be commending 
our troops from demeaning other Members of this House.
  Mr. HOYER. Mr. Speaker, will the gentleman yield?
  Mr. HUNTER. I yield to the gentleman from Maryland.
  Mr. HOYER. Mr. Speaker, I had this and I was not going to use it. I 
am on the same side as the gentleman. I am in the minority of my party 
on this issue. But I want to tell Members that they cannot have it both 
ways. On December 13, 1995, our troops were deployed. Our troops were 
deployed in Bosnia. They were deployed for the purposes of keeping the 
peace. They were successful. Thousands of people were being killed. The 
gentleman remembers that, and our troops were deployed for the purpose 
of keeping the peace pursuant to an agreement by President Clinton and 
others in the NATO alliance.
  There was a resolution on the floor. That resolution was a very brief 
resolution and it had one resolved clause, just one and it said this: 
That the House of Representatives unequivocally supports the men and 
women of the United States Armed Forces who are carrying out their 
mission in support of peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina with professional 
excellence, dedicated patriotism, and exemplary bravery.
  The gentleman from California (Mr. Hunter) voted ``no'' on that 
resolution. The gentleman from Texas (Mr. DeLay) voted ``no'' on that 
resolution. The gentleman from Georgia (Mr. Collins), who spoke 
earlier, voted ``no'' on that resolution. The gentleman from California 
(Mr. Cunningham), who talked about the troops, voted ``no'' on that 
resolution.
  I am with my friend on the substance, but when the gentlewoman from 
California (Ms. Lofgren) gets up and makes her statement and she is 
criticized, remember December 13, 1995.
  Mr. SKELTON. Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the gentleman from 
Mississippi (Mr. Taylor), a distinguished member of the Committee on 
Armed Services.
  Mr. TAYLOR of Mississippi. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman from 
Missouri (Mr. Skelton) for yielding me this time.
  To the point on Bosnia, a lot of us had misgivings. I remember going 
there fully intent on finding kids to tell me it was a bad idea. I met 
a kid from Ocean Springs, Mississippi. I regret that I cannot remember 
his first name. His last name is Rhodes. I asked him should we be here. 
It was a couple of weeks before Thanksgiving. It was snowing and 
crummy. It is 80 degrees in Ocean Springs, and it is 18 degrees in 
Bosnia.
  And the kid said, Yeah. I was dumbfounded. I said, Why? He said 
because I am keeping women from getting raped. I am keeping children 
from getting murdered. I am keeping old folks from getting drug out 
into the street and getting tortured at night. That is why I joined the 
United States Army, to be a good guy.
  Tonight we vote to commend the 250,000 young Americans, just like 
Private Rhodes, who are doing the very same thing.
  To my colleagues, I would say every other generation of Americans, 
check the record, every other generation of Americans voted to pay the 
cost of those wars right then and not stick the young Private Rhodeses 
with that bill. Let us not be the first generation of Americans that 
after we welcome the Private Rhodeses home, stick them with the bill 
from this war.
  I am going to vote for the resolution because it is exactly right, 
but I am going to vote against their budget because they are sticking 
those 250,000 young Americans and their children with this bill. That 
is inexcusable. Let us vote for the troops. Let us vote to pay the 
bill. Those of us fortunate enough not to be on the front lines, not to 
watch our buddies lose an arm or leg, their vision, not to watch our 
buddies die, at least ought to be willing to pay the bill for this war 
right now and not stick our kids with it.
  In the past 2 years, we have run up $802 billion worth of debt. That 
is no prize to hand those kids when they come home. Let us support the 
troops and pay for this war right now. Let us be honest with the 
American people and leave them a Nation that is worthy of their 
sacrifice.


                Announcement by the Speaker Pro Tempore

  The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. Shimkus). The Chair reminds all Members 
to turn off their electronic devices.
  Mr. SKELTON. Mr. Speaker, I yield 4 minutes to the gentleman from 
Maryland (Mr. Hoyer), the Democratic whip.
  Mr. HOYER. Mr. Speaker, Robert Kennedy once remarked, ``All of us, 
from the wealthiest and most powerful men, to the weakest and hungriest 
children, share one precious possession, the name American.''
  So tonight as our brave men and women in uniform fight for freedom 
and our security half a world away, we come here not as Democrats or 
Republicans, but as Americans, Americans united as one in support of 
our Armed Forces, and for the success of the cause for which they 
willingly risk their lives.
  That cause, liberty and freedom from fear, inspired our Founding 
Fathers 227 years ago, and guides our action today. It is a measure of 
our Nation's greatness that when freedom's call came at

[[Page H2245]]

this hour, the finest, best-trained, most skilled and best-equipped 
military in the history of the world answered the call as previous 
generations have done.
  Our thoughts and prayers are with our troops and with the troops of 
our allies, four of whom also lost their lives this night, and our 
thoughts as well are with the families who wait. We are with you. We 
honor you; we honor your sacrifice. We hail your courage, and we pray 
for your safe return.
  We are confident that the Iraqi people who have been terrorized for 
so long under Saddam Hussein's brutal reign will soon throw off the 
shackles of tyranny and see that your mission has always been one of 
liberation and not of aggression. There should be no doubt we shall win 
this war, and we must win the peace that will follow. We are committed 
to a liberated and free Iraq where individual Iraqis can decide their 
own fate, where basic human rights and the rule of law are respected, 
and where that nation's tremendous resources are the property of a 
proud Iraqi people, and not plundered by an international criminal who 
has killed his own people and who continues to threaten the security of 
the region and the world.
  Saddam Hussein believed, like other dictators and despots who 
pockmark history, that our democratic debate was evidence of disunity 
and weakness. He was wrong.
  In fact, as all of us who are privileged to serve here know, that 
ability to debate, that ability to disagree, that ability to want 
options is what makes America so strong, so envied.
  Tonight we stand as one behind our brave Armed Forces. No matter the 
votes, we stand as one and pray for a quick end to this conflict and to 
the safe return of our brave men and women and the brave men and women 
of every nation who will fight in those sands.
  May God protect our men and women. May God give wisdom to our 
Commander in Chief, and may God continue to bless America.
  Mr. HUNTER. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from 
Georgia (Mr. Burns).
  Mr. BURNS. Mr. Speaker, I rise tonight in support of the resolution 
honoring our troops, their families and our President. It is time that 
we unite in this recognition and recognize the sacrifice that all pay 
for our freedom.
  I am reminded of two boyhood friends who served in Vietnam, but did 
not return, Emery Manor Smith, a fine young man, a good friend and a 
great neighbor. Also I am reminded of another friend, Joe Berry, 
another great friend and neighbor. I am reminded of a nephew who served 
in the first Gulf War, Scott Baker, and I honor him tonight for his 
service to America. I have a neighbor, Adam Ivy, who currently serves 
in the Gulf as a United States Marine. He serves proudly to protect 
America from a dictator who would inflict enormous pain and suffering, 
and to free the people of Iraq.

                              {time}  0145

  Tonight we need to unite as one in support of our troops, in support 
of their families and in support of our President. I believe, and I am 
sure you agree, we live in the greatest Nation in the world. It is time 
that we honor those who protect our freedom. May God bless America.
  Mr. SKELTON. Mr. Speaker, I yield such time as he may consume to the 
gentleman from Illinois (Mr. Davis).
  (Mr. DAVIS of Illinois asked and was given permission to revise and 
extend his remarks.)
  Mr. DAVIS of Illinois. Mr. Speaker, I rise in strong support of our 
troops, but on principle must vote against the resolution.
  Mr. Speaker, I rise today to express my heartfelt support for our men 
and women who are currently engaged in war with Iraq. Although I 
disagree with this war, and the policies that have brought us to this 
point--our troops deserve the full support of America. The more than 
200,000 courageous men and women in Iraq represent the best of America. 
They have made the ultimate sacrifice to serve their country and 
protect and defend freedom.
  The troops are ordinary men and women who are doing extraordinary 
things. Many of our service people have left family behind to fulfill 
their commitment to serve. The men and women of our armed services 
epitomise the biblical proverb: ``No greater love is there than one who 
would lay down his/her life for their fellow man.''
  I want to assure the families of our service men and women that I 
stand fully behind them. In addition, I will do everything that I can 
to ensure that they have the best equipment and resources necessary to 
carry out their mission and provide for their safe return.
  While I have no doubt that America will prevail militarily. It is my 
hope and expectation that we will redouble our efforts to seek 
collective, nonmilitary solutions to these critical issues. Also, as we 
engage in war I hope that we take every effort to minimize collateral 
damage to civilians and innocent people.
  Again, I want to commend and honor the outstanding men and women of 
our armed services who are carrying out their orders with great 
distinction.
  Mr. SKELTON. Mr. Speaker, I yield such time as she may consume to the 
gentlewoman from Ohio (Ms. Kaptur).
  (Ms. KAPTUR asked and was given permission to revise and extend her 
remarks.)
  Ms. KAPTUR. Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of the resolution and 
stand 1,000 percent behind our brave and selfless men and women in 
uniform.
  Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of the resolution.
  At this decisive moment in history, all Americans stand 1000 percent 
behind our brave and selfless men and women in uniform.
  I have no doubt America will achieve a military victory in Iraq. The 
road after that will be long, and require sustained commitment along 
with the support of our allies.
  No one can predict fully the course of world events as this war 
begins, so we must draw our strength from one another. This is a time 
for reflection, and kindness to one another.
  I extend deepest respect to all the people of our community country 
who have open discussed and not shirked from their responsibilities as 
free citizens in addressing how best to defeat rising terrorism around 
the world. Your voices will shape a wiser course for the future.
  May the God that creates and sustains us all protect the world's 
children for a general of peace to come.
  Mr. SKELTON. May I inquire of the Chair how many minutes we have 
remaining on each side?
  The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. Shimkus). The gentleman from Missouri 
(Mr. Skelton) has 7\1/2\ minutes remaining, and the gentleman from 
California (Mr. Hunter) has 17 minutes remaining.
  Mr. SKELTON. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  As I mentioned earlier in the evening, this is a solemn moment. I 
wish I had the eloquence of diction to sway everyone within hearing 
distance to vote for this resolution. However, in my mind it is one 
that speaks loudly and clearly about the young men and young women who 
wear the uniform today, many of whom will be in harm's way very soon. 
They are all not Active Duty. We have 212,000 National Guard and 
reservists called up; 26,000 are in the Gulf area. Our hearts and 
thoughts are with them.
  Earlier in the evening the gentleman from Maryland (Mr. Gilchrest) 
quoted that famous poem that came out of the First World War, Flanders 
Fields. Part of that poem reads:

     To you from failing hands we throw
     The torch; be yours to hold it high.
     If ye break faith with us who die
     We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
     In Flanders fields.

  Every generation, it seems, has thrown the torch of freedom to hold 
it high. The generation today that stands guard for Americans wherever 
they may be, fighting terrorists or in the Gulf, are the ones that are 
holding that torch high today. We salute them and thank them.
  Mr. Speaker, I urge everyone in this body to support this resolution. 
I give a special thanks to the gentleman from California (Mr. Hunter), 
the chairman, a veteran of the Army, the Vietnam conflict, for his 
courtesy and help in putting this resolution to the floor.
  Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. HUNTER. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from 
Colorado (Mr. Beauprez).
  Mr. BEAUPREZ. Mr. Speaker, it is a privilege to address the House 
tonight, especially this night. I suspicion that many of us came here 
because, as we would put it, we love this Nation. We love America. As I 
sit here and listened to this debate on this resolution tonight, it 
also crossed my mind that this is a resolution about that very thing, 
about loving America.
  Let me tell my colleagues a story about what loving America really 
is. I have some childhood friends back home in Colorado, Karen and Leon 
Palmer. I

[[Page H2246]]

went to grade school and high school with them. They dated. They got 
married. They had but one son. His name is Matthew. Matthew got an 
appointment and has graduated from the Air Force Academy in Colorado 
Springs and is now a pilot in the United States Air Force. In fact, he 
may be one of the brave pilots that engaged Saddam Hussein just last 
evening.
  When I came back here to be sworn in for my very first time in 
Congress, this 108th Congress, Matthew's mother Karen came by my house 
and she gave me a picture of Matthew inside the cockpit of his F-16. 
She could tell that this action that has now been joined might be 
coming. She looked at me and she said, ``Bob, please take care of 
Matthew. Keep him safe. Keep him well equipped. I would love to have 
him come home, but,'' she said, and this is what love is, ``more than 
that, I love this Nation, and I love the ideals of this Nation, and I 
love what this Nation is willing to protect. If I have to sacrifice my 
only son for the sake of this Nation and for the sake of liberty, Leon 
and I are prepared to do that.''
  Mr. Speaker, there is no greater love than that.
  There has been enough partisanship in this body tonight. We ought to 
check our partisanship at the doors of this great Chamber and vote in 
support of this resolution about love and about freedom and support our 
troops.
  Mr. SKELTON. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman from 
Illinois (Mr. Rush).
  Mr. RUSH. Mr. Speaker, I offer my prayers, heartfelt sentiments and 
unwavering support to our American soldiers who are facing enemy fire 
in a faraway land. I also offer my prayers and my support to their 
families who eagerly await their safe return. However, I do not support 
the dastardly attempt by my Republican colleagues to demean our love 
and concern for our soldiers by shamelessly attempting to transfix our 
focus from them onto the narrow-minded and misguided policies of their 
Commander in Chief.
  Mr. Speaker, Scripture says in the book of Proverbs 29:2, ``When the 
righteous rule, the people rejoice. But when a wicked man rules, the 
people groan.'' Thousands of my fellow Americans are on the streets 
this night, on the streets of this Nation, protesting this unjust war. 
They groan because they do not understand and I do not understand why 
we are at war.
  Mr. Speaker, I respectfully cannot support this resolution as 
written.
  Mr. SKELTON. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman from 
Maryland (Mr. Wynn).
  Mr. WYNN. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for yielding me this 
time. One of the age-old realities of politics is that old men sit in 
judgment and send young men off to war, some to die. Today we have 
young men and women fighting in the Gulf, fighting for our country. As 
with many of my colleagues, I have reservations, I have disagreements, 
I have questions. But I think at this moment in time, it is important 
that we put aside those questions, disagreements and questions, if you 
will, about how we got to this point, to unify behind these young men 
and women and let them know that they have our full support, because we 
indeed are sending them off to fight and perhaps die.
  So this evening, despite those reservations I may have, I am going to 
support this resolution. I hope my colleagues will do so as well and 
present to the world a united front of America, 100 percent behind our 
young men and women in harm's way. God bless these young men and women, 
and God bless America.
  Mr. HUNTER. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  Mr. Speaker, I am disappointed. I had hoped that this time, that this 
resolution which was brought forward this evening would bring us 
together as a House, and perhaps after having some partisan work and 
working on a policy, budget policy, which often divides us, we would 
come together and find some common ground in commending our troops and 
commending our President.
  I think anybody who must be watching this from overseas must be 
wondering at this point, what is in this resolution that so many 
Members have come out from the Democrat side to condemn? I thought it 
might be good to go through the resolution, because this resolution is 
extremely similar to the resolution that we passed in 1991 after we 
took our first action in Iraq.
  What did we do here? The whereas clauses talk about the fact that 
there was an Iraq Liberation Act of 1998 in which we stated it would be 
the policy of the United States to support efforts to remove the regime 
headed by Saddam Hussein and to promote the emergence of a democratic 
government to replace that regime. That vote passed, Mr. Speaker, 
overwhelmingly, Democrat and Republican. It also states that on October 
16, 2002, the President signed into law House Joint Resolution 114 of 
the 107th Congress, the authorization, and I would say this clearly for 
my colleagues, many of whom probably voted against this, but 
nonetheless it was the authorization for the use of military force 
against Iraq. Incidentally, Mr. Speaker, that vote passed 296-133. It 
passed overwhelmingly. It passed more overwhelmingly than the vote that 
we passed in 1991.
  So what was so wrong with this resolution? This resolution followed 
the law, the steps that we took under the law, under United Nations 
resolution and under our own law that brought us to the culmination of 
this event in which it was necessary for the United States to interject 
force into the Iraq theater. We talked about Security Council 
Resolution 1441, now well known to most Members of this body that voted 
unanimously that Iraq will face serious consequences as a result of its 
continued violations of its obligations to disarm in accordance with 
all relevant United Nations resolutions.
  It also said that Iraq remained in material breach of the relevant 
United Nations resolutions. That was clearly stated by the reports that 
were adopted by the United Nations. It was in material breach, and 
Saddam Hussein is in material breach of his obligations.
  So just like the resolution in 1991, we followed the law. We followed 
this trail of steps, very patient steps that the United States took, 
including acts that were signed by a Democrat President, stating that 
it was our policy to bring about a free Iraq. That is what we state in 
this resolution that you think is so poorly worded.
  What else did we do? When you get down to the meat of the resolution, 
and we talk about what it actually says, let us go to the resolved 
clause. First I want to go to the resolved clause that we passed in 
1991 regarding the President and the troops and their families. We said 
in 1991 that we acclaim the President for his decisive leadership, 
unerring judgment and sound decisions. We say in this resolution, Mr. 
Speaker, that we express our support and appreciation to the President 
as Commander in Chief for his firm leadership and decisive action in 
the conduct of military operations in Iraq as part of the ongoing 
global war on terrorism.

                              {time}  0200

  Now, many of the faces that I see here who are condemning this 
resolution were thanking Mr. Rumsfeld a few hours ago for the clear 
judgment that is being shown by this administration in prosecuting this 
war. I had many Members come up to me from the Democrat side who said 
he was doing the right thing. They said we were lucky to have a person 
of that capability. We are lucky to have a team like this team that 
President George Bush has put together. So we commended our President 
because he is the Commander in Chief. We commended him in 1991. We 
commend him tonight.
  What else did we do? In 1991 we expressed our highest commendation 
and sincerest appreciation to the members of the United States Armed 
Forces and other members of the international coalition who 
participated in Operation Desert Storm and have demonstrated 
exceptional bravery, dedication and professionalism.
  Where is the trick language in this that you object to so much?
  And what did we do in this resolution? We said that we express our 
appreciation ``to the members of the United States Armed Forces serving 
in Operation Iraqi Freedom,'' the present operation, ``who are carrying 
out their missions with excellence, patriotism, and bravery.'' Where is 
the trick language there? Where is the double meaning?
  Now we go to the families, and we say in this resolution ``to the 
families of the United States military personnel

[[Page H2247]]

serving in Operation Iraqi Freedom, who are providing support and 
prayers for their loved ones currently engaged in military operations 
in Iraq.'' We give the unequivocal support and appreciation of the 
Nation. That is what we do in this.
  What did we do in 1991? We said almost the same thing, and we 
conveyed our deepest sympathy and condolences to the families and 
friends of the United States and coalition forces who had been injured 
or killed during that operation.
  So, Mr. Speaker, this resolution is extremely similar to the 
resolution that we passed in 1991, I might add, with a Democrat 
Congress, those words that I read to you about the President exercising 
unerring judgment even though many of the Democratic leadership had 
voted against this operation in a much closer vote, incidentally, than 
the vote to allow force that we took this fall. So they talked about 
his judgment, and many of them have talked privately about his good 
judgment in the present operation when we are referring to the present 
President.
  The President and his team have done an excellent job. So maybe what 
we are really talking about is the cause. The many Members who I think 
did not represent a majority of the Democrat Party who came out here 
could have worked this resolution if they wanted it to say we do not 
really believe in the cause, but I do not think a majority of the 
Democrat Party wanted to say that because I do not think they believe 
it. I think they do believe in the cause. Do the Members know something 
else, Mr. Speaker? I think the people we are commending that we have 
been talking about all night believe in this cause, and maybe that is 
the difference between those people, those people wearing the uniform 
of the United States, and the people who wanted to use this forum to 
continue to debate this policy.
  The facts are this body believes in this cause. We have given 
permission to the President to use our most valuable asset, our most 
precious resource, our Armed Forces, to ensure that this just cause is 
carried out. And, Mr. Speaker, since we have all given our foreign 
policy statements here tonight, maybe we should listen to the foreign 
policy statement of a Marine leader just before he took his people 
across that line, and I want to read a statement that was issued to 
every member of the First Marine Division before they went into 
operation today. It comes from the commanding general, J.N. Mattis, and 
this is what he states. Even though I am sure some Members of the other 
side could take exception to his language, this is his position:
  ``For decades Saddam Hussein has tortured, imprisoned, raped, and 
murdered the Iraqi people, invaded neighboring countries without 
provocation, and threatened the world with weapons of mass destruction. 
The time has come to end his reign of terror. On your young shoulders 
rest the hopes of mankind.
  ``When I give you the word, together we will cross the line of 
departure close with those forces that choose to fight and destroy 
them. Our fight is not with the Iraqi people nor is it with members of 
the Iraqi Army who choose to surrender. While we move swiftly and 
aggressively against those who resist, we will treat all others with 
decency, demonstrating chivalry and soldierly compassion for people who 
have endured a lifetime under Saddam's oppression.
  ``Chemical attack, treachery, and the use of the innocent as human 
shields can be expected as can other unethical tactics. Take it all in 
stride. Be the hunter, not the hunted. Never allow your unit to be 
caught with its guard down. Use good judgment and act in the best 
interests of our Nation.
  ``You are part of the world's most feared and trusted force. Engage 
your brain before you engage your weapon. Share your courage with each 
other as we enter the uncertain terrain north of the Line of Departure. 
Keep faith in your comrades on your left and right and Marine air 
overhead. Fight with a happy heart and a strong spirit.
  ``For the mission's sake, our country's sake, and the sake of the men 
who carried the Division's colors in past battles, who fought for life 
and never lost their nerve, carry out your mission and keep your honor 
clean. Demonstrate to the world that there is `No Better Friend, No 
Worse Enemy' than a United States Marine.''
  Ladies and gentlemen, those people that wear the uniform do not have 
the disagreement with this resolution that so many Members from the 
other side had tonight. They know this is a good cause. They believe in 
this cause. They share this cause. They also believe that they have a 
great President leading them.
  May God bless them. May God bless America.
  Mr. SKELTON. Mr. Speaker, I thank my friend from California for his 
eloquent statement.
  Mr. Speaker, I yield such time as he may consume to the gentleman 
from Rhode Island (Mr. Kennedy).
  (Mr. KENNEDY of Rhode Island asked and was given permission to revise 
and extend his remarks.)
  Mr. KENNEDY of Rhode Island. Mr. Speaker, I rise in favor of this 
resolution to support our men and women in harm's way serving this 
country.
  Mr. SKELTON. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  Some discussion has been held tonight regarding foreign policy. Let 
me say my foreign policy. I speak of the valor and the courage and the 
dedication of young men and young women who are protecting freedom and 
safety of our country and of the free world, whether they be on the 
outskirts of Iraq or in Afghanistan or wherever they may be in this 
world. I hope everyone will see themselves clear to support and vote 
for this resolution so we can say thanks to those brave souls of 
America. We have lost some, as was recently said this evening, whose 
families will grieve, but it is for us to carry on and say thank you.
  Mr. Speaker, the great Roman orator once said that gratitude is the 
greatest of all virtues, and I hope tonight by this vote we can express 
our gratitude and exhibit that virtue by voting for this resolution.
  Mr. TOWNS. Mr. Speaker, this evening I rise in strong support of the 
work that our U.S. Armed Forces are doing in Iraq and throughout the 
Middle East. However, I cannot support the resolution offered by my 
friend, Mr. Hunter. I truly believe that war is not the answer to this 
question facing the world community.
  I truly believe that Saddam Hussein is an evil dictator and should 
not be allowed to oppress his people or threaten the rest of the world. 
Having said that, I would note that we should have given diplomacy a 
chance to work and more importantly, given the inspectors a chance to 
do their job to avert this military action.
  As a New Yorker, no one understands the reality of terrorism more 
than me and the people of Brooklyn; we all lost family and friends that 
day and were all thankful for the outpouring of support we received 
from the nation and the world in wake of the September 11th tragedies. 
Having said that, after seeing my city attacked with my own eyes that 
day I believe that the actions of this administration are wrong and 
short sighted.
  Once again, Mr. Speaker I stand with our troops this evening, but 
cannot commend those who would not work with the world community to 
find a peaceful solution to the problems that face our ever-shrinking 
world.
  Tonight I say thank you to our troops and know that I am praying for 
their safe return to America, but cannot vote for this resolution 
because I do not believe this to be a just war.
  Mr. KUCINICH. Mr. Speaker, I support the brave young men and women 
who are following orders that have placed them in harm's way. I hope 
and pray for their safe return. My thoughts and prayers are with them, 
their families and loved ones in this difficult time.
  While I will always support the troops, I cannot support this 
mission. Last night, the President ordered an unprovoked aggressive 
attack against Iraq in violation of American traditions of defensive 
war.
  This war is wrong. As a nation we must come together to support the 
troops, but continue to challenge the policy that has put them at grave 
risk.
  Mr. SANDERS. Mr. Speaker, I am voting for this resolution because, 
like every American, I want to see all of our troops come home safely 
and want to show my support for them and their families. I also want to 
see this war ended as quickly as possible, with a minimum of Iraqi 
casualties.
  I am disturbed, however, about the partisan nature of this 
resolution. Instead of simply indicating our support for the troops, 
this resolution has language in it which some might suggest indicates 
support for the policies of the President which have led us to where we 
are today. Let me be very clear. I do not support those policies. I do 
not support the concept of ``preemptive war.'' I do not support a 
foreign policy which undermines the United Nations,

[[Page H2248]]

and which alienates us from virtually all of our allies. I believe that 
all of these actions create a horrendous precedent which makes our 
country and our planet less safe, which could well result in more 
terrorism, not less terrorism. I voted against giving the President the 
authority to go to war in Iraq and I believe that history will 
determine that was the right vote.
  Saddam Hussein is an evil dictator but I believe that, with the 
support of the international community and the United Nations, he could 
be contained and his weapons of mass destruction could be removed from 
him--without war and without killing and at a fraction of the cost that 
this war and occupation will cost. I also believe that with enforced 
and prolonged inspections, and with a strong commitment to human 
rights, the international community could bring democracy to Iraq.
  Mr. Speaker, let us not forget the phenomenon of ``blow-back,'' or 
unintended consequences. The U.S., the most powerful military force on 
earth, will surely win this war in short order, but I'm not so sure 
that this victory will seem quite so clean and positive five years from 
now. I'm not so sure that the American occupation of Iraq will have all 
of the positive results that some think.
  Let me conclude by expressing my outrage about how, at a time when 
young men and women are in the line of fire in Iraq, the Republican 
leadership, on this very night, is voting to cut the benefits of our 
veterans. On one hand we vote to ``support the troops,'' while on the 
other hand we vote to deny health care and other promised benefits to 
those veterans who fought in the first Persian Gulf War, or Vietnam, or 
Korea or World War II. What hypocrisy! Yes. We apparently have billions 
available for tax breaks for the rich, but not enough to keep the 
promises we made to our veterans.
  Mr. BLUMENAUER. Mr. Speaker, I strongly support the American men and 
women in uniform and their families who are providing key support and 
bearing such a heavy burden. Congress stands in solidarity with those 
given such a somber responsibility. This resolution is testimony to 
that unity.
  My vote on this resolution affirms my support for our troops, but 
should not be mistaken as an affirmation of the administration's 
foreign policies and diplomatic efforts, which I find wanting.
  Mr. DeFAZIO. Mr. Speaker, nearly 250,000 men and women serving in the 
United States Armed Forces are deployed in Operation Iraqi Freedom. We 
have just had notice of the first casualties with the crash of a Marine 
helicopter. I would like to convey my condolences to their families; my 
heart and prayers are with them at this difficult time.
  With the consideration of this resolution, I and every other Member 
of the United States House of Representatives wish to honor the courage 
and service of all our troops to this nation. Our thoughts and prayers 
are with them for their prompt and safe return home to their families.
  The House of Representatives could have better demonstrated support 
this evening for members of the Armed Forces past and present during 
deliberation and votes on the Budget resolution. The resolution that 
just passed will cut veterans benefits and fails to fulfill the 
commitment to lifelong care and care of dependents made to our young 
men and women at the time of enlistment. I voted against the Republican 
budget Resolution that mandated the cuts in veterans benefits. Instead 
I voted for an alternative budget resolution that would have fully 
funded veterans programs and met our nation's obligation to those who 
have served selflessly in defense of our freedoms.
  I will vote for this resolution to further demonstrate my support for 
our young men and women in the armed forces. I only wish that all those 
who join me in this vote had demonstrated a similar commitment when it 
came to full funding for veterans programs. In casting my aye vote for 
the troops, I want to note that I would have offered a motion to strike 
the whereas clause beginning at the bottom of page 2 extending to the 
top of page 3. I also find that the assertion at the end of line 6 
ending on line 7 (p. 4) is not supported by any facts released by the 
CIA or other intelligence agencies and was, in fact, debunked in a 
publicly released CIA document last fall.
  I have previously made known my concerns with the new policies of 
pre-emptive and preventative war. I have also spoken of the failure of 
the United States Congress to fulfill its duty under Article I Section 
8, the duty to debate and declare war. Now, as we mourn the first 
casualties and honor our soldiers still on the front lines, is not the 
time to continue that debate despite the concerns I expressed earlier. 
However, there will come a day in the not too distant future when the 
House will no longer be able to avoid its duties.
  Mr. ROTHMAN. Mr. Speaker, I rise to offer my support for our troops 
and for this resolution.
  First and foremost my heart and prayers are with the brave men and 
women of our Armed Forces who right now are engaged in a dangerous, but 
necessary war to rid the world of an evil dictator who threatens the 
world with his weapons of mass destruction. Our troops are courageously 
risking their lives for, not only the freedom and security of the 
people of the United States, but for the people of Iraq, and the entire 
world.
  For 12 years, the United States and United Nations have called on 
Saddam Hussein to destroy his weapons of mass destruction. The U.N. 
passed 16 resolutions ordering him to do so. He has chosen not to 
comply. HIs history of using weapons of mass destruction, plus the 
likelihood that he could give these weapons of mass destruction to his 
agents in the U.S. or to terrorist organizations to use against 
Americans at home or abroad make him a clear and present danger to 
America.
  The risks of this war are great, but the risks of not going to war to 
disarm Saddam Hussein now are far greater. With September 11 very much 
in my mind, I believe that our government must be proactive in 
protecting our people and our homeland.
  I am mindful of, and have had extensive discussions with, the many 
people of good faith in my district who oppose taking action against 
Saddam Hussein at this point in time. I have great respect for them and 
for their strongly held views. But I hope that all Americans will join 
me today in supporting our troops as these brave young Americans place 
themselves in harm's way on behalf of our nation.
  I pray for the safety of the brave men and women in our armed forces 
and for the innocent Iraqi people. I look forward to the elimination of 
Saddam's weapons of mass destruction and to the liberation of the Iraqi 
people from this murderous, sadistic dictator.
  May God bless our troops and may God continue to bless the United 
States of America.
  Mr. FRELINGHUYSEN. Mr. Speaker, I rise in strong support of H. Con. 
Res. 104.
  The security of our Nation and the freedoms we enjoy will not be held 
hostage by a brutal dictator or terrorists whose only aim is to destroy 
our way of life. We will not live in fear.
  The very real threat of an attack on America by terrorists who would 
use weapons of mass destruction cannot be left to chance. This risk is 
too great.
  In the face of such threats, our current military action in Iraq, 
with our allies, is warranted.
  As many of my colleagues have said before me this evening: Saddam 
Hussein must be stopped. His arsenal of terror must be eliminated. The 
terrorist networks with whom he allies himself must be destroyed. 
America must and will lead the free world to disarm Saddam Hussein and 
stop terrorism.
  We have a duty to protect our people, and this we will do with 
courage and conviction.
  This is the call to action our young men and women in uniform have 
heard, and for their sacrifices, we owe them our gratitude, our prayers 
and all of America's support.
  Our Commander in Chief has given our brave, young soldiers their 
orders. They are following those orders with precision, 
professionalism, compassion and courage. At the end of this battle, the 
world will be a safer place without Hussein, his anthrax, toxins and 
nerve gas, or the terrorists he aids and abets.
  Our troops now go into battle to defend our Nation and protect our 
children's future.
  As those of us who have seen war know, the price of freedom is paid 
for by the sacrifices of those who serve. Their courage is our 
inspiration.
  We wish them Godspeed, swift victory, and safe return.
  Ms. HARMAN. Mr. Speaker, as I vote for this resolution tonight, I am 
mindful that many of my constituents remain opposed to United States 
action in Iraq, and believe it reflects an abuse of United States power 
which unnecessarily risks human life and sets us on a dangerous path 
for the future.
  I want to explain to those constituents, whose views are heartfelt 
and well intended, why I respectfully disagree.
  The President's decision to use force to remove Saddam Hussein from 
power and eliminate his WMD was, indeed, controversial. I had hoped 
diplomacy would succeed, and that, even if it failed, the threat of 
imminent force would cause the Iraqi regime to seek exile.
  One day, when we look back to write the history of these past months, 
we will undoubtedly conclude that there were many mistakes--some by the 
United States, many by our allies in the United Nations, and critical 
ones by Hussein and the leadership of Iraq. And we will learn from 
those mistakes.
  But this resolution does to debate the issue of whether we should 
have gone to war. It merely expresses support and appreciation for 
those commanding the war, including the President as Commander in 
Chief, and for our young heroes, those in uniform,

[[Page H2249]]

who are courageously and skillfully carrying out their assigned 
missions.
  Mr. Speaker, we must not make the mistake we made during and after 
the Vietnam war. This time, let's support the women and men serving in 
our Armed Forces--and, as importantly, welcome them home with open 
arms.
  Mr. KIND. Mr. Speaker, I rise today in support of this resolution 
commending our brave men and women of the armed services. I wish them 
Godspeed and a quick and decisive victory so they can return home soon 
and safe.
  America is the greatest democracy the world has ever known. The 
advent of a new century has brought new threats and new terrors never 
before imagined that threaten our cherished freedoms and liberties. 
Fortunately, we have some of the finest citizens of our country who 
choose to serve to defend those cherished liberties, even at times, by 
giving their last full measure of their lives. They do it for their 
country, they do it for their families, and they do it for their 
buddies in the foxhole next to them, and thank God they do it well. 
Each generation has faced its own unique challenges and has risen to 
address them. Now it's our turn and I am confident that the current 
generation of servicemen and servicewomen will perform honorably and 
successfully. We are so very proud of them.
  With military action to disarm Saddam Hussein just underway, my 
thoughts and prayers are with these men and women, as well as their 
families. Over 2,200 members of the Wisconsin Air and Army National 
Guard are serving on active duty as well as many Reservists from across 
the Badger State. Our appreciation not only goes out to them but also 
to their families and their employers for their support and sacrifice 
during these challenging times.
  I want to particularly express my appreciation to the members and 
families of the Wisconsin Army National Guard's 229th Engineer Company 
out of Prairie du Chien and Platteville under the command of Capt. 
Robert Pruitt, the 829th Engineer Detachment out of Richland Center 
under the command of Capt. Kurt Geilfuss, and the 1158th Transportation 
Company with members from Tomah and Black River Falls under the 
leadership of 1LT Jason Stebbins, and Army Reserve's 652nd Engineer 
Company out of Ellsworth under the command of Capt. Dean Kasparek. 
These units have been activated and deployed. They can take great pride 
in knowing that they are part of the greatest military force the world 
has ever known and that they have the support of a grateful nation. We 
owe them a debt of gratitude that can never be repaid.
  I also want to thank Maj. Gen. Al Wilkening, the Wisconsin Adjunct 
General and LTC Tim Donovan of the Wisconsin Army National Guard, along 
with Col. Mike Stazak, commander of Ft. McCoy, Army Reserve Total Force 
Training Center and his staff in western Wisconsin. The people of 
Wisconsin are proud of their service and the service of all the men and 
women of our armed services during this important time in our Nation's 
history.
  As our military effort continues, I and other members of Congress 
will work to ensure that our service men and women have all the 
resources necessary to fulfill their mission. My thoughts and prayers 
are with those serving our country, as well as their families. America 
is firmly behind our troops and we're all hoping to see them home safe, 
secure, and soon.
  May God bless our troops during this difficult time and may God 
continue to bless the United States of America.
  Ms. ROYBAL-ALLARD. Mr. Speaker, I, like many of my colleagues, worked 
to keep America's sons and daughters out of harm's way and to protect 
the innocent civilians of Iraq by encouraging the continuation of U.N. 
inspections and diplomatic efforts to gain the support of the United 
Nations Security Council.
  I am deeply disappointed that the President instead has chosen to 
begin military action. But the fact is, since the decision was made to 
go to war, we must do everything in our power to support and protect 
our troops and to prevent civilian casualties.
  I, like all Americans, am deeply grateful for the patriotism of our 
troops, their courage and the sacrifices they are willing to make. I 
join all Americans in praying for their prompt and safe return home to 
America and to their families.
  Since September 11, 2001, Congress has worked in a bipartisan fashion 
to provide the tools necessary for our military forces to accomplish 
the difficult tasks given to them. I have supported these efforts 
because our fighting men and women deserve the very best. With our 
troops now engaged in conflict, Congress and the President must make 
certain that our armed force continue to promptly receive the necessary 
resource to end the war and to secure the peace when the conflict ends.
  As the wife of a former Marine and as the stepmother of a proud 
member of the Army, I also want to thank our country's military 
families who share fully in the sacrifices of our military personnel. I 
will work with congressional leaders to continue to address the 
particular needs of these families during these difficult times and 
work to insure that full veteran benefits are available to them when 
they return.
  The United States must continue diplomacy to bring together the 
broadest coalition to aid our efforts during and after the military 
conflict. America will need the support of our allies to help the 
people of Iraq rebuild their country.
  Mr. Speaker, tonight our prayers and thoughts for our troops and 
innocent Iraqi civilians are perhaps best expressed by the American 
poet, Longfellow, who wrote so poignantly:

     Our hearts, our hopes are all with thee.
     Our hearts, our hopes our prayers, our tears,
     Our faith triumphant o'er our fears,
     Are all with thee--are all with thee.

  Mr. MICHAUD. Mr. Speaker, I rise tonight in support of this 
resolution that expresses our appreciation for our Armed Forces and 
their families. As a proud member of the Veterans Committee, I have 
worked to champion the causes of our brave men and women in uniform 
every day. As we enter a time of peril for our troops, and a time of 
concern in the hearts of their loved ones, it is important that the 
Congress is steadfast in our support.
  I do have reservations, however, about the full content of this 
resolution. It mixes a statement of support for our troops, a sentiment 
that unites this Congress and our Nation, with support for the policies 
and plans of the administration--policies that remain controversial in 
this body and among many Americans.
  It is the right--indeed, it is the duty--of elected representatives 
in a Democracy to question, to debate, and to voice the concerns of 
their constitutes. This resolution seeks to suppress all such concerns 
in a cynical act of politics, by forcing members either to vote in 
favor of all of the policies, or risk showing disdain for the troops. 
This kind of politicking has no place in what should be a pure and 
genuine expression of national unity.
  I am voting for this resolution tonight because the sacrifice of our 
troops and their families deserves to be honored. But I object to the 
way in which this was brought forward, and I hope that this body will 
show a greater regard for all of the voices in our Nation in the 
future.
  Mr. MILLER of Florida. Mr. Speaker, I rise today in support of H. 
Con. Res. 104, a measure to honor our men and women in uniform and the 
families who support them.
  Mr. Speaker, the meaning of this resolution strikes close to home 
because many men and women from my district are currently deployed 
overseas or they are in the cue to be deployed. There must be a 
remarkable level of stress associated with deployment. Uncertainty can 
be the largest contributor to this anxiety. Uncertain where they will 
be sent, uncertain as to what they will see. But rest assured, Mr. 
Speaker, there is no uncertainty in what they must do.
  I know first hand that those airmen from the Air Force Special 
Operations Command, based at Hurburt Field, are of the best trained, 
best equipped members in our United States Armed Forces. They go hand 
in hand with the Rangers who trained at Camp Rudder in the Northwest 
Florida swamps, the sailors who trained at Pensacola Naval Air Station 
and Whiting field, the Air Force Reservists from Duke Field and the 
airmen from the 33rd Fighter Wing, the Nomads, from Eglin Air Force 
Base.
  These are the faces of our forces in Iraq. These men and women, 
mothers and fathers, daughters and sons, are the people who have 
volunteered to defend our freedom wherever a defense is needed. They 
protect the very fabric that gives protestors the right to protest, the 
editorialist the right to editorialize and the security where we can 
move about our day, completing our routine duties, without fear of 
oppression or persecution based on our simple, God-given rights.
  As you, Mr. Speaker, I've seen many object to our efforts to liberate 
Iraq. I am deeply troubled by their lack of understanding as to what 
our troops are battling but at the same time I am proud of our Nation 
and the beacon of light we shine around the world--that those 
objections are permitted. Nobody here expects everyone to agree with 
every policy implemented. But I have yet to see a single protest 
against the Iraqi regime in downtown Baghdad. I would highly doubt the 
citizens in Iraq are truly comfortable with living a life of terror at 
the hands of their own government. I doubt they move about their daily 
routines without fear of persecution. I know they cannot assemble to 
oppose the government or publicize their written thoughts that run 
contrary to the views of the ruling regime.
  Mr. speaker, we here in the United States, Western Europe and scores 
of other countries are fortunate to live in a land where life, liberty 
and the pursuit of happiness are abundant, and I would submit, taken 
for granted. I look forward to the Iraqi people living in the same type 
of land and I thank the troops for bringing them to our welcoming arms.

[[Page H2250]]

  May God bless and protect our men and women in Uniform and continue 
to bless the United States of America.
  Mr. REYES. Mr. Speaker, as we speak and assemble on the floor of the 
House tonight, young men and women of our Armed Forces are ready to pay 
the ultimate sacrifice in the service of our Nation. Indeed, 12 
American and four British soldiers died when their U.S. Marine 
helicopter crashed in Kuwait just hours ago. My condolences and prayers 
are with their families at this most difficult time.
  About 3,600 of the troops honorably serving in the Persian Gulf today 
are from Fort Bliss in my own district. I have been fortunate and 
honored to meet many of them and their families. These men and women 
have already shown their remarkable abilities, manning Patriot missile 
battalions that successfully defended Kuwait and allied troops against 
Iraqi Scud missiles earlier today. I am very proud to represent these 
brave and capable soldiers. My thoughts and prayers are with them as 
they face the dangers and uncertainties of war. And my thoughts and 
prayers extend to their families as well, who must anxiously await 
their loved ones' safe return. The mothers and fathers, sons and 
daughters, wives and husbands, and brothers and sisters of our service 
members are making sacrifices of their own, and enduring a challenging 
time. They deserve our recognition and appreciation.
  I commend all the members of our Armed Forces serving in Operation 
Iraqi Freedom for their patriotism, bravery, and professionalism. I 
also wish to express my appreciation to the British and Australian 
troops who are fighting alongside Americans in combat, and to the 
personnel from other allied countries who are providing support to our 
forces.
  I support our Government's efforts to prosecute this war swiftly and 
successfully, with a minimum of military and civilian causalities. Our 
soldiers deserve our fullest support, and they can count on me for that 
for however long this war may last.
  Mr. HONDA. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to express my strong support for 
the men and women of our armed services. These courageous Americans are 
putting their lives on the line in order to serve our country, and I 
pray that they succeed swiftly in their mission and return home safely.
  I also want to express my support for the families of our troops, who 
are patiently awaiting their return with heavy hearts. My thoughts and 
prayers go out to you during these difficult times.
  While I fully support our troops, I am frustrated and deeply 
disappointed by the resolution that we are being asked to consider 
tonight. I vehemently disagree with the President's decision to abandon 
a diplomatic solution to disarm Saddam Hussein, and cannot support a 
resolution that endorses that decision.
  I was proud to support H.J. Res. 27 two weeks ago, a resolution 
commending the service of our Armed Forces. However, it is with a heavy 
heart that I must oppose the resolution we have before us tonight.
  Mr. KLECZKA. Mr. Speaker, I back this resolution because of my 
complete support and admiration of the brave men and women in our armed 
services. Each of us owes a debt of gratitude to these selfless 
individuals who have put themselves in harm's way in service of our 
Nation. Like many of my fellow Americans, I still disagree with the 
process that brought us to this juncture and my vote here does not 
represent any change in that belief. But I pray for a quick end to this 
conflict and for the safe return of all of our men and women in 
uniform.
  Mr. SHUSTER. Mr. Speaker, I rise tonight in support of H. Con. Res. 
104. It is very fitting that we honor those men and women who tonight 
are making the world a safer place. Their mission is legal and, more 
importantly, just. I am certain they will succeed in changing an evil 
regime, they will succeed in eliminating dangerous chemical and 
biological weapons, and they will succeed in liberating the people of 
Iraq.
  Our thoughts and prayers must also go out to the families of our 
troops. Their sacrifice is great and must be acknowledged.
  There is no greater love than the love of a family, so as a nation, 
as family America, we must send our love to families whose members are 
in harm's way defending our freedom.
  And finally recognizing our President for his leadership, his 
strength, his decency and his commitment to the American people.
  I hope and pray for a swift and safe return for all of our troops. 
May God bless our military and their families. And may God bless 
America.
  Mr. HOLT. Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to vote to support our brave 
armed forces. I will vote for this resolution. My thoughts and prayers 
are with the men and women in uniform who are serving our country in 
the Persian Gulf and elsewhere. They will, without doubt, perform 
admirably. While I am disappointed that this resolution contains 
dubious and politically opportunistic language regarding Iraq and the 
war on terrorism, that cannot stop me from endorsing the valor and 
dedication of our troops. Although I remain concerned that this war 
will make our country less instead of more safe, I deeply respect the 
personal sacrifice and commitment of our armed forces. Our democracy 
permits and even encourages disagreement, but it cannot tolerate 
disrespect towards our men and women in uniform.
  Mr. PAUL. Mr. Speaker, as we vote today to commend our troops, I 
would like to take the opportunity to express my personal support for 
our brave men and women in uniform who are in harm's way, and to hope 
for their safe return home after a victory on the battlefield.
  The time for debate over the wisdom of going to war has passed. 
Although I was unsuccessful in arguing that such a war be undertaken 
only after the passage of a constitutionally-enacted Declaration of 
War, it is time now for us to line up behind our troops. As a Vietnam 
era veteran of the U.S. Air Force I understand how important it is to 
troop morale that each and every fighting person know all Americans 
stand behind them.
  Once this war has ended we should seriously reconsider the direction 
of our foreign policy. The American people have seen the 
ineffectiveness of our reliance upon our so-called ``NATO allies'' and 
the United Nations. Hopefully this will lead us to reconsider our role 
in these organizations. I hope this will be the last time Americans 
fight under the color of U.N. resolutions. Once this war is completed I 
hope we will reassess our foreign entanglements, return to the 
traditional U.S. foreign policy of non-intervention, and return to the 
standard of our own national security.
  For now all such foreign policy debates are on hold, and I hope all 
Americans will join in supporting our troops in the successful 
completion of their mission.
  Mr. TOM DAVIS of Virginia. Mr. Speaker, I rise to voice my 
unequivocal support of our men and women in uniform currently 
participating in Operation Iraqi Freedom. I would also like to thank my 
colleague Chairman Hunter for bringing this important and timely 
resolution to the floor.
  As we speak, our armed forces are beginning the second day of their 
quest to end the reign of one of the most diabolical tyrants the world 
has ever known. As they advance on their objective, the professionalism 
and abilities of our troops are obvious. These brave men and women--so 
far from home--bear upon their shoulders the task of keeping the world 
safe so that the rest of us can enjoy the comforts of freedom.
  While no one doubts that ultimate success will be theirs, the dangers 
our troops face are all too real. Not long ago we received the sad news 
that a helicopter crash has claimed the lives of 12 U.S. Marines and 4 
British soldiers. It is unlikely these casualties will be the last, but 
we are comforted in the knowledge that the sacrifices they have made 
will help make the world a safer place.
  Saddam Hussien had ample opportunity to join the peace-loving nations 
of the world, but he refused at every turn. Thus, if falls to our 
troops to finally put an end to his murderous regime. Earlier today 
they crossed the line of departure, and are now closing with those 
enemy forces that chose to put up resistance. But more important than 
the fear they bring to the allies of Saddam is the hope they bring to 
the Iraqi people, who soon will see their great and ancient 
civilization flourish once again.
  As for Saddam, he will experience for a second time that there is no 
great friend, no worse enemy than a member of the U.S. military.
  Mr. RAMSTAD. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to support our brave troops in 
harm's way, as they fight to disarm Saddam Hussein of his weapons of 
mass destruction.
  My gratitude and prayers are with the 270,000 brave American troops 
at war to protect the American people, including 2,512 Minnesota 
National Guard and Reserve Troops.
  Mr. Speaker, politics stops when war starts. It's time for all 
members of this body to take off their political hats and put on their 
American hats in support of our troops. At time of war, there are no 
Republicans, no Democrats and no Independents, only Americans.
  As Americans, we have the will power and the staying power to 
accomplish this mission and bring our troops home safely.
  Thanks to our brave troops, I am confident we will be successful at 
disarming this brutal and murderous dictator of his weapoons of mass 
destruciton. And for that, Mr. Speaker, they deserve our deepest 
gratitude, respect and prayers.
  May God bless our troops and our Commander-in-Chief, and may God 
bless America!
  Ms. CORRINE BROWN of Florida. Mr. Speaker, I stand 100% behind our 
troops. The brave men and women in uniform who have volunteered to 
defend our country are in my thoughts, and in my prayers. I pledge to 
work to ensure that they have all the resources necessary to help them 
accomplish their mission quickly and safely so that they can return 
home to their families.

[[Page H2251]]

  I also pray for the family members who sent their loved ones into 
harm's way to protect the freedom that every American enjoys. They are 
to be commended for their sacrifice and unwavering support for our 
troops.
  My home state of Florida has sent over 5,000 Reserve and National 
Guard personnel to Iraq with the full understanding that not all of 
them would return to their families and loved ones, and my heart goes 
out to these brave Floridians.
  Every member of our Armed Forces deserves our deep and unending 
gratitude for their professionalism and commitment to the ideals of 
this great country.
  For the record, I would like to express my support for the second and 
third Whereas clause of the resolution we are currently debating, and I 
would like to submit Congressman Hastings' Resolution support the 
troops which I support in its entirety.
  May God continue to bless America.

                             H. Con. Res.--

       Whereas the valiant and dedicated members of the United 
     States Armed Forces consistently perform in an exceptionally 
     professional manner befitting an all-volunteer military 
     force;
       Whereas the members of Reserve and National Guard 
     components of the Armed Forces consistently demonstrate their 
     readiness and ability to respond and deploy quickly to become 
     an integral part of the active components;
       Whereas the families of the active and reserve forces 
     provide exceptional and unwavering support for deployed 
     forces;
       Whereas the valiant members of the military forces of the 
     allies of the United States share common goals and objectives 
     with the United States in the war on terrorism and the war 
     with Iraq; and
       Whereas all citizens of the United States and the allies of 
     the United States have demonstrated a show of unity in the 
     aftermath of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, and 
     against the threat to global security and crimes against 
     humanity posed by Iraqi President Saddam Hussein: Now, 
     therefore, be it
       Resolved by the House of Representatives (the Senate 
     concurring), That it is the sense of Congress that--
       (1) each member of the Armed Forces of the United States be 
     commended for serving with such distinction and 
     professionalism;
       (2) the family members of members of the Armed Forces of 
     the United States be commended for their special role in 
     providing support for the members of the Armed Forces;
       (3) each allied service member be commended for serving 
     with such distinction and professionalism; and
       (4) all citizens of the United States pay homage to the 
     members of the Armed Forces and their families and to allied 
     service members and their families.

  Mr. SKELTON. Mr. Speaker, I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. HUNTER. Mr. Speaker, I yield back the balance of my time.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. Shimkus). Pursuant to the order of the 
House earlier this legislative day, the previous question is ordered on 
the concurrent resolution.
  The question is on the concurrent resolution.
  The question was taken; and the Speaker pro tempore announced that 
the ayes appeared to have it.
  Mr. HUNTER. Mr. Speaker, on that I demand the yeas and nays.
  The yeas and nays were ordered.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to clause 8 of rule XX, further 
proceedings on this question will be postponed.

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