(Extensions of Remarks - May 23, 2013)

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[Extensions of Remarks]
[Page E744]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office []

                          PERSONAL EXPLANATION


                          HON. JIM BRIDENSTINE

                              of oklahoma

                    in the house of representatives

                         Thursday, May 23, 2013

  Mr. BRIDENSTINE. Mr. Speaker, I wish to inform the House of 
Representatives that on May 21, 2013, I was unable to participate in 
three recorded votes due to my participation, along with the entire 
Oklahoma delegation, in a tour of tornado affected areas in and around 
Moore, Oklahoma.
   I wish to submit for the record a summary of these bills, as well as 
statement on how I would have voted on each had I been present. I would 
also like to note that these are the only votes I have missed so far as 
a Member of Congress.
   H.R. 1412, the Improving Job Opportunities for Veterans Act of 2013, 
passed the House by a vote of 416-0. Had I been present, I would have 
voted for H.R. 1412. The bill incentivizes private sector companies to 
participate in Veterans Administration (VA) on-the-job-training (OJT) 
training programs by reducing the level of employer contributions. It 
also requires the VA to enter into OJT agreements with other federal 
departments and agencies, which will encourage the federal government 
to hire veterans by fully leveraging available authorities. Finally, 
H.R. 1412 offsets any additional costs by extending for one month the 
VA's authority to pay reduced pensions to veterans using Medicaid-
approved nursing facilities. According to the Congressional Budget 
Office (CBO), H.R. 1412 would reduce direct spending about $14 million 
from FY14-FY18 and produce an ``insignificant effect on discretionary 
   H.R. 1344, the Helping Heroes Fly Act, passed the House by a vote of 
413-0. Had I been present, I would have voted for this bill. H.R. 1344 
directs the Department of Defense to develop processes to expedite 
airport screening for severely injured and disabled service members and 
   H.R. 324, to grant the Congressional Gold Medal, collectively, to 
the First Special Service Force, in recognition of its superior service 
during World War II, passed the House by a vote of 415-0. I co-
sponsored this bill and I would have voted for it had I been present. 
The bill authorizes two Congressional Gold Medals for the First Special 
Service Force, a joint Canadian-U.S. special operations unit that 
served with distinction during WWII. The First Special Service Force 
was the precursor unit for both the U.S. and Canadian Special 
Operations forces.