Report text available as:

  • TXT
  • PDF   (PDF provides a complete and accurate display of this text.) Tip ?

110th Congress 
 1st Session            HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES                 Report
                                                                110-282
_______________________________________________________________________
 
   ENSURING MILITARY READINESS THROUGH STABILITY AND PREDICTABILITY 
                     DEPLOYMENT POLICY ACT OF 2007

                               __________

                              R E P O R T

                                 of the

                      COMMITTEE ON ARMED SERVICES

                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

                                   on

                               H.R. 3159

                             together with

                            DISSENTING VIEWS

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]




                 July 31, 2007.--Ordered to be printed.
                   HOUSE COMMITTEE ON ARMED SERVICES
                       One Hundred Tenth Congress

                         IKE SKELTON, Missouri
JOHN SPRATT, South Carolina          DUNCAN HUNTER, California
SOLOMON P. ORTIZ, Texas              JIM SAXTON, New Jersey
GENE TAYLOR, Mississippi             JOHN M. McHUGH, New York
NEIL ABERCROMBIE, Hawaii             TERRY EVERETT, Alabama
SILVESTRE REYES, Texas               ROSCOE G. BARTLETT, Maryland
VIC SNYDER, Arkansas                 HOWARD P. ``BUCK'' McKEON, 
ADAM SMITH, Washington                   California
LORETTA SANCHEZ, California          MAC THORNBERRY, Texas
MIKE McINTYRE, North Carolina        WALTER B. JONES, North Carolina
ELLEN O. TAUSCHER, California        ROBIN HAYES, North Carolina
ROBERT A. BRADY, Pennsylvania        JO ANN DAVIS, Virginia
ROBERT ANDREWS, New Jersey           W. TODD AKIN, Missouri
SUSAN A. DAVIS, California           J. RANDY FORBES, Virginia
RICK LARSEN, Washington              JEFF MILLER, Florida
JIM COOPER, Tennessee                JOE WILSON, South Carolina
JIM MARSHALL, Georgia                FRANK A. LoBIONDO, New Jersey
MADELEINE Z. BORDALLO, Guam          TOM COLE, Oklahoma
MARK UDALL, Colorado                 ROB BISHOP, Utah
DAN BOREN, Oklahoma                  MICHAEL TURNER, Ohio
BRAD ELLSWORTH, Indiana              JOHN KLINE, Minnesota
NANCY BOYDA, Kansas                  CANDICE S. MILLER, Michigan
PATRICK J. MURPHY, Pennsylvania      PHIL GINGREY, Georgia
HANK JOHNSON, Georgia                MIKE ROGERS, Alabama
CAROL SHEA-PORTER, New Hampshire     TRENT FRANKS, Arizona
JOE COURTNEY, Connecticut            BILL SHUSTER, Pennsylvania
DAVID LOEBSACK, Iowa                 THELMA DRAKE, Virginia
KIRSTEN GILLIBRAND, New York         CATHY McMORRIS RODGERS, Washington
JOE SESTAK, Pennsylvania             K. MICHAEL CONAWAY, Texas
GABRIELLE GIFFORDS, Arizona          GEOFF DAVIS, Kentucky
ELIJAH E. CUMMINGS, Maryland
KENDRICK B. MEEK, Florida
KATHY CASTOR, Florida
                    Erin C. Conaton, Staff Director
                            C O N T E N T S

                              ----------                              
                                                                   Page

Purpose and Background...........................................     3
Legislative History..............................................     3
Hearings.........................................................     3
Section-by-Section Analysis......................................     4
    Section 1--Short Title.......................................     4
    Section 2--Minimum Periods of Rest and Recuperation for Units 
      of the Armed Forces........................................     4
Committee Position...............................................     4
Congressional Budget Office Estimate.............................     4
Committee Cost Estimate..........................................     5
Oversight Findings...............................................     6
Statement of Performance Goals and Objectives....................     6
Constitutional Authority Statement...............................     6
Earmarks.........................................................     6
Statement of Federal Mandates....................................     6
Record Votes.....................................................     6
Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, as Reported............    11
Dissenting Views:
    Dissenting views of Duncan Hunter, Jim Saxton, John M. 
      McHugh, Howard P. ``Buck'' McKeon, J. Randy Forbes, Joe 
      Wilson, Rob Bishop, Jim Marshall, John Kline, Candice S. 
      Miller, Phil Gingrey, Trent Franks, Bill Shuster, Thelma 
      Drake, and K. Michael Conaway..............................    12
    Dissenting views of W. Todd Akin, Joe Wilson, Tom Cole, and 
      Trent Franks...............................................    15
110th Congress                                                   Report
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 1st Session                                                    110-282

======================================================================




   ENSURING MILITARY READINESS THROUGH STABILITY AND PREDICTABILITY 
                     DEPLOYMENT POLICY ACT OF 2007

                                _______
                                

 July 31, 2007.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the 
              State of the Union and ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

   Mr. Skelton, from the Committee on Armed Services, submitted the 
                               following

                              R E P O R T

                             together with

                            DISSENTING VIEWS

                        [To accompany H.R. 3159]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

  The Committee on Armed Services, to whom was referred the 
bill (H.R. 3159) to mandate minimum periods of rest and 
recuperation for units and members of the regular and reserve 
components of the Armed Forces between deployments for 
Operation Iraqi Freedom or Operation Enduring Freedom, having 
considered the same, report favorably thereon with an amendment 
and recommend that the bill as amended do pass.
  The amendment is as follows:
  Strike all after the enacting clause and insert the 
following:

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

  This Act may be cited as the ``Ensuring Military Readiness Through 
Stability and Predictability Deployment Policy Act of 2007''.

SEC. 2. MINIMUM PERIODS OF REST AND RECUPERATION FOR UNITS OF THE ARMED 
                    FORCES BETWEEN DEPLOYMENTS.

  (a) Regular Components.--
          (1) In general.--No unit of the Armed Forces specified in 
        paragraph (3) may be deployed in support of Operation Iraqi 
        Freedom unless the period between the most recent previous 
        deployment of the unit and a subsequent deployment of the unit 
        is equal to or longer than the period of such most recent 
        previous deployment.
          (2) Sense of congress on optimal minimum period between 
        deployments.--It is the sense of Congress that the optimal 
        minimum period between the most recent previous deployment of a 
        unit of the Armed Forces specified in paragraph (3) and a 
        subsequent deployment of the unit in support of Operation Iraqi 
        Freedom should be equal to or longer than twice the period of 
        such most recent previous deployment.
          (3) Covered units.--Subject to subsection (c), the units of 
        the Armed Forces specified in this paragraph are as follows:
                  (A) Units of the regular Army and members assigned to 
                those units.
                  (B) Units of the regular Marine Corps and members 
                assigned to those units.
                  (C) Units of the regular Navy and members assigned to 
                those units.
                  (D) Units of the regular Air Force and members 
                assigned to those units.
  (b) Reserve Components.--
          (1) In general.--No unit of the Armed Forces specified in 
        paragraph (3) may be deployed in support of Operation Iraqi 
        Freedom unless the period between the most recent previous 
        deployment of the unit and a subsequent deployment of the unit 
        is at least three times longer than the period of such most 
        recent previous deployment.
          (2) Sense of congress on mobilization and optimal minimum 
        period between deployments.--It is the sense of Congress that 
        the units of the reserve components of the Armed Forces should 
        not be mobilized continuously for more than one year, and the 
        optimal minimum period between the previous deployment of a 
        unit of the Armed Forces specified in paragraph (3) and a 
        subsequent deployment of the unit in support of Operation Iraqi 
        Freedom should be five years.
          (3) Covered units.--The units of the Armed Forces specified 
        in this paragraph are as follows:
                  (A) Units of the Army Reserve and members assigned to 
                those units.
                  (B) Units of the Army National Guard and members 
                assigned to those units.
                  (C) Units of the Marine Corps Reserve and members 
                assigned to those units.
                  (D) Units of the Navy Reserve and members assigned to 
                those units.
                  (E) Units of the Air Force Reserve and members 
                assigned to those units.
                  (F) Units of the Air National Guard and members 
                assigned to those units.
  (c) Exemptions.--The limitations in subsections (a) and (b) do not 
apply--
          (1) to special operations forces as identified pursuant to 
        section 167(i) of title 10, United States Code; and
          (2) to units of the Armed Forces needed, as determined by the 
        Secretary of Defense, to assist in the redeployment of members 
        of the Armed Forces from Iraq to another operational 
        requirement or back to their home stations.
  (d) Waiver by the President.--The President may waive the limitation 
in subsection (a) or (b) with respect to the deployment of a unit of 
the Armed Forces to meet a threat to the national security interests of 
the United States if the President certifies to Congress within 30 days 
that the deployment of the unit is necessary for such purposes.
  (e) Waiver by Military Chief of Staff or Commandant for Voluntary 
Mobilizations.--
          (1) Army.--With respect to the deployment of a member of the 
        Army who has voluntarily requested mobilization, the limitation 
        in subsection (a) or (b) may be waived by the Chief of Staff of 
        the Army.
          (2) Navy.--With respect to the deployment of a member of the 
        Navy who has voluntarily requested mobilization, the limitation 
        in subsection (a) or (b) may be waived by the Chief of Naval 
        Operations.
          (3) Marine corps.--With respect to the deployment of a member 
        of the Marine Corps who has voluntarily requested mobilization, 
        the limitation in subsection (a) or (b) may be waived by the 
        Commandant of the Marine Corps.
          (4) Air force.--With respect to the deployment of a member of 
        the Air Force who has voluntarily requested mobilization, the 
        limitation in subsection (a) or (b) may be waived by the Chief 
        of Staff of the Air Force.
  (f) Definitions.--In this Act:
          (1) Deployment.--The term ``deployment'' or ``deployed'' 
        means the relocation of forces and materiel to desired areas of 
        operations and encompasses all activities from origin or home 
        station through destination, including staging, holding, and 
        movement in and through the United States and all theaters of 
        operation.
          (2) Unit.--The term ``unit'' means a unit that is deployable 
        and is commanded by a commissioned officer of the Army, Navy, 
        Air Force, or Marine Corps serving in the grade of major or, in 
        the case of the Navy, lieutenant commander, or a higher grade.
  (g) Effective Date.--This Act shall take effect on the date of the 
enactment of this Act.

                         PURPOSE AND BACKGROUND

    The purpose of H.R. 3159, Ensuring Military Readiness 
Through Stability and Predictability Deployment Policy Act of 
2007, is to establish a statutory requirement that ensures 
regular (active) component units and members assigned to those 
units are provided a minimum period of rest and recuperation 
that is equal to or longer than the period of the most recent 
deployment, and a minimum period of rest and recuperation that 
is at least three times longer than the period of deployment 
for reserve (National Guard and Reserves) component units and 
members assigned to those units.
    The bill also includes a sense of Congress that the ratio 
between the length of deployments and dwell time, the interval 
between deployments, for regular components should be one year 
deployed to two years at home station (a ratio of 1:2), and the 
goal for the reserve components should be one year deployed to 
five years at home station (a ratio of 1:5).
    The Secretary of Defense, Robert Gates, recently announced 
a change to deployment policy on May 9, 2007, which would 
extend the current policy for all active Army units from a 1:1 
ratio (one year deployed and one year at home station) to a 
policy of 15 months deployed and 12 months back at home 
station. This policy change has raised serious concerns about 
sustainability, and whether such a reduced period at home 
station allows sufficient time for units and individuals to 
adequately train, equip, and re-constitute for the next 
deployment. The services are currently at a 1:1 ratio for 
regular components and a 1:3 ratio for reserve components and 
are not able to meet the Department of Defense goal of a 1:2 
ratio for regular components and a 1:5 ratio for reserve 
components given the current operational requirements.

                          LEGISLATIVE HISTORY

    H.R. 3159 was introduced on July 24, 2007, and referred to 
the Committee on Armed Services.
    On July 27, 2007, the Committee on Armed Services held a 
mark-up session to consider H.R. 3159, as introduced. The 
committee agreed by unanimous consent to consider Chairman 
Skelton's amendment in the nature of a substitute as the base 
text. The committee, a quorum being present, ordered reported 
H.R. 3159, as amended, to the House with a favorable 
recommendation by a record vote of 32-25, with 2 voting 
present.

                                HEARINGS

    Committee consideration of the matter contained in H.R. 
3159, Ensuring Military Readiness Through Stability and 
Predictability Deployment Policy Act of 2007, was informed by 
two full committee hearings. The full committee conducted a 
hearing on January 23, 2007, ``Implications of Iraq Policy on 
Total Force Readiness;'' and conducted a hearing on July 27, 
2007, ``Hearing on H.R. 3159 and H.R. 3087.'' These hearings 
dealt with rotational policy and the strain on the armed 
forces, which has resulted from ongoing military operations.

                      SECTION-BY-SECTION ANALYSIS

    The following is a section-by-section analysis of those 
sections of H.R. 3159, as amended by the Committee on Armed 
Services.

Section 1--Short title

    This section would establish the short title of the bill as 
the ``Ensuring Military Readiness Through Stability and 
Predictability Deployment Policy Act of 2007.''

Section 2--Minimum periods of rest and recuperation for units of the 
        Armed Forces

    This section would prohibit the deployment to Operation 
Iraqi Freedom (OIF) of an active component unit or personnel 
assigned to such unit unless the period of deployment between 
the previous and proposed deployment was equal to or longer 
than the period of the most recent previous deployment. Reserve 
component units and personnel assigned to those units could not 
be deployed to OIF unless the period of deployment between the 
previous and proposed deployment was equal to or longer than 
three times the period of the most recent previous deployment.
    Additionally, this section would express the sense of 
Congress that the active components deploying to OIF should 
achieve an optimal deployment to dwell time ratio that is equal 
to or longer than twice the deployment period, and reserve 
components deploying to OIF should achieve an optimal 
deployment of no more than one year and an optimal dwell time 
of five years.
    The section also would provide the President the ability to 
waive the dwell times, if the President certifies to Congress 
within 30 days after the waiver that the deployment of a unit 
is necessary to meet a threat to the national security 
interests of the United States. This section also would provide 
the Chiefs of Staff of the services the ability to waive the 
dwell times for voluntary mobilizations.
    This section would also define ``unit,'' ``deployment,'' 
and ``deployed.'' This section would be effective upon date of 
enactment.

                           COMMITTEE POSITION

    On July 27, 2007, the Committee on Armed Services, a quorum 
being present, ordered reported H.R. 3159, as amended, to the 
House with a favorable recommendation by a record vote of 32-
25, with 2 voting present.

                  CONGRESSIONAL BUDGET OFFICE ESTIMATE

    In compliance with clause 3(c)(3) of rule XIII of the Rules 
of the House of Representatives, the cost estimate prepared by 
the Congressional Budget Office and submitted pursuant to 
section 402 of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974 is as 
follows:

                                                     July 31, 2007.
Hon. Ike Skelton,
Chairman, Committee on Armed Services,
House of Representatives, Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has 
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for H.R. 3159, the Ensuring 
Military Readiness Through Stability and Predictability 
Deployment Policy Act of 2007.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is Matthew 
Schmit.
            Sincerely,
                                           Peter R. Orszag,
                                                          Director.

Congressional Budget Office cost estimate

    H.R. 3159 would require that military units receive minimum 
periods of rest and recuperation between deployments in support 
of Operation Iraqi Freedom. For active-duty units, the required 
period of rest and recuperation would be at least as long as 
their most recent deployment, and for Reserve and National 
Guard units the required period would be at least three times 
as long as their most recent deployment. Those requirements 
could be waived if the President certifies to the Congress that 
the deployments are in the interest of national security or if 
the deployments are voluntary.
    Currently, many units already receive sufficient time 
between deployments to meet the minimum requirements specified 
by this bill. However, some units, such as military 
intelligence and aviation units, have been deploying more 
frequently because they possess certain skills that are in high 
demand in the Iraq theater of operations.
    In any cases where the President chose to exercise the 
waiver authority provided by this bill, H.R. 3159 would have no 
significant budgetary effect, because the deployment of those 
high-demand units would continue in the same manner as under 
current law. However, in those cases where the President chose 
not to exercise the waiver authority, there could be 
significant costs or savings depending on which actions the 
President undertook to comply with the requirements of this 
bill.
    To meet the bill's requirement for time between deployments 
to the Iraq theater, the President could decide to reorganize 
and retrain existing forces so that more personnel with high-
demand skills are available for overseas deployments, which 
would result in additional costs to the Department of Defense. 
Alternatively, the President could decide to comply with the 
requirement by reducing the number of personnel deployed to 
Iraq, which would result in budgetary savings. In both cases, 
the costs or savings could be in the billions of dollars, 
although CBO does not have enough information at this time to 
estimate what those budgetary effects might be. Enacting the 
bill would not affect direct spending or receipts.
    H.R. 3159 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector 
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act and 
would impose no costs on state, local, or tribal governments.
    The CBO staff contact for this estimate is Matthew Schmit. 
This estimate was approved by Peter H. Fontaine, Deputy 
Assistant Director for Budget Analysis.

                        COMMITTEE COST ESTIMATE

    Pursuant to clause 3(d) of rule XIII of the Rules of the 
House of Representatives, the committee concurs with CBO that 
there is not enough information at this time to estimate the 
budgetary effects of this bill, and thus it is not possible to 
determine the bill's costs or savings. The committee also 
concurs with CBO that enactment of the bill would not affect 
direct spending or receipts.

                           OVERSIGHT FINDINGS

    With respect to clause 3(c)(1) of rule XIII of the Rules of 
the House of Representatives, the committee reports that the 
findings and recommendations of the committee, based on 
oversight activities pursuant to clause 2(b)(1) of rule X, are 
incorporated in the descriptive portions of this report.
    With respect to clause 3(c)(2) of rule XIII of the Rules of 
the House of Representatives, this legislation does not include 
any new spending or credit authority, nor does it provide for 
any increase or decrease in tax revenues or expenditures.
    With respect to clause 3(c)(4) of rule XIII of the Rules of 
the House of Representatives, the bill does not authorize 
specific program funding.

             STATEMENT OF PERFORMANCE GOALS AND OBJECTIVES

    In compliance with clause 3(c)(4) of rule XIII of the Rules 
of the House of Representatives, the goals and objectives of 
H.R. 3159, Ensuring Military Readiness Through Stability and 
Predictability Deployment Policy Act of 2007, are to set 
minimum periods of rest and recuperation for active and reserve 
component units deployed to Operation Iraqi Freedom. For 
active-duty forces, the bill calls for time between deployments 
equal to or exceeding the length of the most recent previous 
deployment. For National Guard and Reserve units and members, 
the bill calls for time between deployments at least three 
times longer than the length of the most recent previous 
deployment.

                   CONSTITUTIONAL AUTHORITY STATEMENT

    Pursuant to clause 3(d)(1) of rule XIII of the Rules of the 
House of Representatives, the committee finds the authority for 
this legislation in Article I, section 8 of the United States 
Constitution.

                                EARMARKS

    Pursuant to clause 9 of rule XXI, H.R. 3159, Ensuring 
Military Readiness Through Stability and Predictability 
Deployment Policy Act of 2007, contains no congressional 
earmarks, limited tax benefits, or limited tariff benefits as 
defined in clause 9(d), 9(e), or 9(f) of rule XXI.

                     STATEMENT OF FEDERAL MANDATES

    Pursuant to section 423 of Public Law 104-4, this 
legislation contains no federal mandates with respect to state, 
local, and tribal governments, nor with respect to the private 
sector. Similarly, the bill provides no unfunded federal 
intergovernmental mandates.

                              RECORD VOTES

    In accordance with clause 3(b) of rule XIII of the Rules of 
the House of Representatives, record votes were taken with 
respect to the committee's consideration of H.R. 3159. The 
record votes are attached to this report.
    The committee, a quorum being present, ordered reported 
H.R. 3159, as amended, to the House with a favorable 
recommendation by a record vote of 32-25, with 2 voting 
present.


         CHANGES IN EXISTING LAW MADE BY THE BILL, AS REPORTED

    Clause 3(e) of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives requires an elaboration or description of how 
the reported bill proposes to repeal or amend a statute or part 
thereof. There were no changes in existing law made by H.R. 
3159, as reported.

                            DISSENTING VIEWS

    We believe that achieving the DOD deployment-to-dwell-time 
goals for both active and reserve component units and personnel 
is an important readiness objective that Congress should pursue 
aggressively. The goal for the regular/active components is one 
year deployed to two years at home station (1:2); and the goal 
for the National Guard and other reserve components is one year 
mobilized to five years demobilized (1:5). Congress can most 
effectively assist in achieving those goals by committing the 
resources necessary to substantially increase force structure 
and manpower and to reset and modernize the military services. 
Furthermore, if Congress is serious about improving unit 
readiness and the service members' quality of life by the use 
of deployment and dwell time measures, Congress ought to ensure 
that they are achieved across the force, not just imposed on 
those forces and people deploying to Iraq. We were disappointed 
that the House Armed Services Committee, in a largely party-
line vote, defeated a proposal to reaffirm the achievement of 
force-wide dwell-time goals and to have the Department of 
Defense provide Congress with its plan to achieve those goals.
    We have grave concerns about H.R. 3159 as amended--the bill 
the committee approved in a largely party-line vote. We will 
continue to oppose it for a number of reasons.
    The bill would prohibit the deployment of active and 
reserve component units that did not meet certain minimum 
stand-down or ``dwell time'' requirements between deployments. 
Such prohibitions intrude heavily and inappropriately into the 
constitutional duties of the President as Commander in Chief.
    Beyond that, the dwell time requirements appear to be not 
so much efforts to improve the readiness of units and quality 
of life of members in the Armed Forces, but rather to force a 
withdrawal and reduction of U.S. forces committed to Operation 
Iraqi Freedom. This is so because H.R. 3159 as amended levies 
deployment prohibitions only on forces destined for Iraq that 
did not meet certain dwell time minimums but would allow those 
very same forces, regardless of dwell time, to be committed to 
combat in Afghanistan or anywhere else in the world they are 
needed. For the most highly deployed units, like the Army's 
10th Mountain Division, the Iraq-only limitation raises the 
false expectation among service members and their families that 
there will be a reduction in deployment tempo--but does nothing 
to reduce the likelihood of deployments to Afghanistan or other 
operational hot-spots.
    Moreover, we are concerned that by statutorily reducing the 
pool of forces available for deployment in the midst of a war--
essentially putting brigades and battalions on the shelf, so to 
speak--H.R. 3159 as amended would make substantial reductions 
in the forces available to meet combatant commander 
requirements. For example, the Marine Corps told the committee 
that the deployment prohibitions would prevent the deployment 
in fiscal year 2008 of eight Marine Corps battalion/squadron 
sized combat-support and combat service support units that are 
essential to the support of the Marine Corps' basic war 
fighting unit--the Marine-Air Ground Task Force (MAGTF); one 
Marine infantry battalion landing team; and one Marine 
reinforced helicopter squadron.
    H.R. 3159 as amended, which mandates that both units and 
individuals assigned to them meet minimum dwell times between 
deployments, would significantly hamper the ability of the Army 
and Marine Corps, especially, to meet the combatant commanders' 
requirements. For example, because 55,800 Marines (32 percent 
of the active duty strength of the Marine Corps) already have 
at least one deployment, they would not be available for 
assignment to units deploying to Iraq. In the case of an Army 
unit, say for example a brigade combat team, that has less than 
a 1:1 deployment-to-dwell-time ratio, but nearly all its 3,500 
assigned personnel meet or exceed the mandated dwell time 
standard, the brigade could not deploy because of the mandated 
dwell time limit established for units.
    In claiming to improve the readiness and quality of life 
for certain portions of the Armed Forces, H.R. 3159 as amended 
ignores the likelihood that its mandates actually would degrade 
readiness, extend some unit deployments, create further stress 
and increase the risk to the force. In response to committee 
questions about the impact of mandated dwell time and 
deployment restrictions, the Marine Corps, for example, 
outlined negative impacts created by such mandates:

          In order to support OIF requirements during FY08 and 
        comply with the minimum period between deployments 
        proposed [by provisions like the Sen. Webb amendment 
        and H.R. 3159 as amended--a 1:1 ratio] the Marine Corps 
        would have to adjust force generation plans. . . . 
        These plan adjustments could include extending unit 
        deployments, creating provisional units and forcing 
        units to execute missions as in-lieu-of forces. Each of 
        these adjustments, among others, incurs higher risk 
        than that associated with deploying the unit at [a 
        deployment to dwell time ratio of] 7:6 and will create 
        additional force generation challenges for a greater 
        number of units in order to support subsequent OIF 
        rotations.

    The supporters of H.R. 3159 as amended quickly dismissed 
those concerns, citing the ability of the President to waive 
any limitations imposed by the bill if he could certify to 
Congress that a deployment was necessary to meet a threat to 
the national security interests of the United States. Their 
argument was that such a waiver would be easy to obtain, if not 
automatic, and would therefore not interfere with the orderly 
planning and deployment of units and individuals to Iraq.
    We think that argument is disingenuous at best. Supporters 
of H.R. 3159 cannot have it both ways. Either the legislation 
does nothing significant or it significantly limits deployment 
decisions. If the former, it is a sham. If the latter, it has 
all the deficits previously illustrated.
    Congress puts Presidential waiver requirements into 
legislation with the expectation that waivers will be used 
sparingly and will serve as a barrier to Executive Branch 
action. The military services understand this and normally 
would draw up plans and operations without the expectation of 
obtaining a Presidential waiver. Not surprisingly, supporters 
of H.R. 3159 as amended defeated Rep. Marshall's amendment to 
make obtaining a Presidential waiver easier.
    For these reasons, we will continue to oppose H.R. 3159 as 
amended and urge all our colleagues to do so.

                                   Duncan Hunter.
                                   Jim Saxton.
                                   John M. McHugh.
                                   Howard P. ``Buck'' McKeon.
                                   J. Randy Forbes.
                                   Joe Wilson.
                                   Rob Bishop.
                                   Jim Marshall.
                                   John Kline.
                                   Candice S. Miller.
                                   Phil Gingrey.
                                   Trent Franks.
                                   Bill Shuster.
                                   Thelma Drake.
                                   K. Michael Conaway.

                            DISSENTING VIEWS

    Our men and women in uniform are the best in the world and 
they deserve all the support and encouragement that we can 
possibly give them. Our troops on the ground in Iraq, 
Afghanistan and other countless places around the world, are 
making us proud by their daily sacrifice and constant efforts 
to protect our great nation.
    Unfortunately, the Democrats have decided to make the rest 
and recuperation of our troops into another tactic in their 
misguided attempt to precipitously end the war in Iraq. H.R. 
3159, which we voted against in committee, is simply another 
empty partisan attack on the war in Iraq. It shows once again 
that the Democrats don't actually have a strategy in Iraq, but 
rather simply want to give up and pull out as fast as possible.
    This bill focuses its dwell time requirements solely on 
Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) while ignoring the fact that our 
ongoing fight against terrorism is requiring our men and women 
in uniform to put in long deployments, in harm's way, in many 
places other than just Iraq. Rather than reaffirm the goals for 
dwell time laid out by Defense Secretary Gates for the whole 
military and all missions, this bill mandates dwell times for 
OIF in a backhanded effort to force us to withdraw from Iraq.
    The goal of this bill is obviously to force our commanders 
on the ground to retreat out of Iraq, because they would not 
have enough troops to maintain the current op-tempo. 
Unfortunately, if this bill were to become law, it would hurt 
the troops currently deployed more than anyone else--by 
extending their tours until troops in the U.S. had met these 
newly imposed regulations on dwell time. The DOD does have 
goals for dwell time for all units, as reinforced by Ms. 
Drake's substitute amendment, but in times of war, the 
Commander-in-Chief must be able to use the military as is 
necessary.
    Having opposed this bill in committee, we will also oppose 
this bill on the floor of the House, as it does nothing but 
harm to our Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines.

                                   W. Todd Akin.
                                   Joe Wilson.
                                   Tom Cole.
                                   Trent Franks.