July 31, 2020 - Issue: Vol. 166, No. 136 — Daily Edition116th Congress (2019 - 2020) - 2nd Session
DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE APPROPRIATIONS ACT, 2021; Congressional Record Vol. 166, No. 136
(Extensions of Remarks - July 31, 2020)
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[Extensions of Remarks] [Pages E711-E712] From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov] DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE APPROPRIATIONS ACT, 2021 ______ speech of HON. JOHN B. LARSON of connecticut in the house of representatives Thursday, July 30, 2020 Mr. LARSON of Connecticut. Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of H.R. 7617, the Defense, Commerce, Justice, Science, Energy and Water Development, Financial Services and General Government, Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development Appropriations Act, 2021. This defense funding package continues to make strong investments in our nation's national security and in turn Connecticut's robust defense manufacturing base. It also includes a needed pay raise for our troops. Thousands of Connecticut residents work on programs supporting our military and many more benefit [[Page E712]] from economic activity these contributions bring to our state. This funding will help spur Connecticut's economy during these difficult times and secure thousands of jobs at larger employers like Pratt & Whitney and hundreds of smaller suppliers across the First District and the state. Throughout the years, the Connecticut delegation has worked hand in glove with suppliers, companies, and educators to bring Connecticut to the forefront of advanced manufacturing. The Delegation, led by Joe Courtney and Rosa DeLauro, have worked hard to ensure not only the manufacturing base, but the supply chain remain on top. This was recently demonstrated in the Hartford Courant, which cited a Pew Charitable Trusts Study that said: `Pentagon contract spending powers Connecticut to No. 1 in US.' This builds on the work of the F-35 Joint Strike fighter caucus which I'm proud to co-chair. This is good news for our supply chain and economy during a time when commercial spending is down. These military contracts will keep these jobs going. In addition to the vital funding that directly contributes to our state, this package fights back against the President's ill-conceived border wall, by preventing the use of Defense funds being used for the wall. It also ensures that the President cannot go to war without Congress's authorization by prohibiting funds from being used in contravention of the War Powers Resolution. It specifically prohibits funds for any use of military force in or against Iran and repeals both the 2001 and the 2002 war authorizations. The power to go to war lies with Congress, not the President. These are important provisions to ensure the Executive Branch does not overstep its authority. The passage of the FY 2021 Labor-HHS Appropriations package is a win for millions of Social Security beneficiaries. It blocks a proposed rule that would dramatically increase the frequency of continuing disability reviews. These reviews can be extremely difficult for individuals with severe disabilities to navigate and can lead to wrongful loss of Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits when they are unable to complete the complex process. This rule was an attempt to throw beneficiaries off the rolls. The bill also blocks a Trump Administration proposed rule to deny individuals their right to appeal a denial of Social Security or SSI benefits before an Administrative Law Judge. I am thankful for the leadership of Chairwomen Nita Lowey and Rosa DeLauro for making this happen. Chairwoman DeLauro always fights for the least among us and she continued that with this bill. ____________________