VOTE EXPLANATION ON THE CONFERENCE REPORT ON H.R. 4310 FISCAL YEAR 2013 NATIONAL DEFENSE AUTHORIZATION ACT; Congressional Record Vol. 158, No. 166
(Extensions of Remarks - December 21, 2012)

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[Extensions of Remarks]
[Page E1998]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]




VOTE EXPLANATION ON THE CONFERENCE REPORT ON H.R. 4310 FISCAL YEAR 2013 
                   NATIONAL DEFENSE AUTHORIZATION ACT

                                 ______
                                 

                           HON. RUSH D. HOLT

                             of new jersey

                    in the house of representatives

                       Friday, December 21, 2012

  Mr. HOLT. Mr. Speaker, on December 20, 2012, I inadvertently cast a 
``yes'' vote for this bill. I intended to vote ``no.''
  There is no question that this legislation contains some important 
provisions that will benefit our troops and their families, including a 
small (1.7%) pay raise, special pay and bonuses (such as special 
retention pay for aviators, nurses, etc.), additional funding for 
family housing and support services, and other helpful measures. I was 
pleased that the final bill included a provision I authored that 
creates a permanent National Language Service Corps within the Defense 
Department.
  The NLSC currently exists as a pilot program that has recruited more 
than 1,800 members. To date, Corps members have worked with the 
Department of the Navy, the National Security Agency, the Centers for 
Disease Control and Prevention, and other federal agencies. For 
instance, the NLSC provided translation and interpretation support 
services to the U.S. Army Pacific for counterinsurgency training in 
Thailand. Far too few Americans can speak or understand foreign 
languages, and as a result, we are hampered in participating in global 
commerce and in defending our national security. The permanent 
establishment of the National Language Service Corps is a meaningful 
step toward helping our government meet its foreign language needs.
  Unfortunately, this bill fails to address some key issues of concern 
to my constituents.
  For example, the bill continues funding for an exo-atmospheric kill 
vehicle--a provocative and destabilizing system that will waste 
millions more on our failed national missile defense effort. The bill 
perpetuates a bloated nuclear weapons complex that does not enhance our 
security and in fact compromises our nonproliferation efforts. Worse, 
the bill continues to fund our combat operations in Afghanistan, 
instead of restricting the use of those funds to withdrawal-related 
operations only. There is simply no reason--military or political--for 
us to continue the war in Afghanistan. In the broadest sense, this bill 
continues the acquisition programs and policies that have been in place 
for decades. This bill does nothing to fundamentally reshape and 
downsize our armed forces. It continues Cold War weapons acquisition 
programs that have no place in a 21st century where the threats are 
vastly more diffuse and dispersed. For all these reasons, I cannot 
support this bill.

                          ____________________