NATIONAL DEFENSE AUTHORIZATION ACT FOR FISCAL YEAR 2019; Congressional Record Vol. 164, No. 85
(Extensions of Remarks - May 23, 2018)

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[Extensions of Remarks]
[Page E713]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]





        NATIONAL DEFENSE AUTHORIZATION ACT FOR FISCAL YEAR 2019

                                 ______
                                 

                               speech of

                        HON. BILL PASCRELL, JR.

                             of new jersey

                    in the house of representatives

                         Tuesday, May 22, 2018

       The House in Committee of the Whole House on the state of 
     the Union had under consideration the bill (H.R. 5515) to 
     authorize appropriations for fiscal year 2019 for military 
     activities of the Department of Defense and for military 
     construction, to prescribe military personnel strengths for 
     such fiscal year, and for other purposes:

  Mr. PASCRELL. Mr. Chair, I thank the Speaker for allowing a vote on 
my amendment, number 17, which would for the first time include blast 
exposure history in service records. This would drastically improve the 
care our service members receive when they return from theater by 
identifying injuries sustained from blasts on the field.
  This bipartisan policy was recently recommended by the Center for a 
New American Security, and is supported by my co-chair of the Brain 
Injury Task Force, Congressman Thomas J. Rooney (R-FL), as well as 
independent researchers and brain injury advocates.
  The effects of our service members' repeated exposure to blast events 
are largely unknown and could take years to show up. Accurate records 
of blast exposure, including during training, are needed to improve our 
understanding of blast-induced brain injury.
  NDAAs in recent years have authorized funding for critical programs 
like DOD's Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury Research 
Program. Throughout the appropriations process, I hope to see continued 
funding for this and other brain injury programs at Defense, such as 
the Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center and the National Intrepid 
Center of Excellence.
  This funding, coupled with this amendment, will allow us to further 
understand and improve the care provided to service members who have 
sustained a brain injury.

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