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 []



                               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.