[Congressional Record Volume 158, Number 71 (Thursday, May 17, 2012)]
[Extensions of Remarks]
[Pages E842-E843]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]

                          PERSONAL EXPLANATION


                        HON. BILL PASCRELL, JR.

                             of new jersey

                    in the house of representatives

                         Thursday, May 17, 2012

  Mr. PASCRELL. Mr. Speaker, I want to state for the record that on May 
17, 2012, I missed several rollcall votes due to a longstanding 
commitment to give the commencement address at Passaic County Community 
College, in my district.
  Had I been present I would have voted:
  ``Nay''--rollcall Vote No. 259--Motion on Ordering the Previous 
Question on the Rule providing for consideration of amendments to H.R. 
  ``Nay''--rollcall Vote No. 260--H. Res. 661--Rule providing for 
further consideration of H.R. 4310--National Defense Authorization Act 
for Fiscal Year 2013.
  ``Aye''--rollcall Vote No. 261--H. Res. 568--Expressing the sense of 
the House of Representatives regarding the importance of preventing the 
Government of Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapons capability, as 
  ``Aye''--rollcall Vote No. 262--H.R. 5740--To extend the National 
Flood Insurance Program.
  ``Nay''--rollcall Vote No. 263--Rohrabacher (R CA): Amendment No. 4--
Prohibits funds made available by this Act from being used for 
assistance to Pakistan in fiscal year 2013.
  While Pakistan has often not behaved as a good ally should, I do not 
believe it is in our national security interests to cut off all funding 
for military assistance and cooperation. It is an undeniable fact that 
we must work with the Pakistani government in order to keep our troops 
safe and supplied, and therefore cutting off all funding would not be 
  ``Aye''--rollcall Vote No. 264--Lee (D CA): Amendment No. 5--Limits 
the use of funds made available in this Act to only the withdrawal of 
all members of the Armed Forces and Department of Defense (DoD) 
contractors from Afghanistan.
  I strongly support an accelerated drawdown of our troops from 
Afghanistan, where they have been fighting for far too long. While we 
must continue to help the Afghan people to build their country with 
humanitarian and diplomatic support, it is time for our troops to 
  ``Aye''--rollcall Vote No. 265--Connolly (R VA): Amendment No. 6--
Withholds funds from the Coalition Support Fund until the Secretary of 
Defense certifies that Pakistan has opened the Ground Lines of 
Communication, is allowing the transit of NATO supplies through 
Pakistan into Afghanistan, is supporting the retrograde of U.S. 
equipment out of Afghanistan.
  I believe this amendment takes the correct approach by providing 
leverage to correct some of Pakistan's most egregious behavior while 
rewarding them for cooperation with our military efforts.
  ``No''--rollcall Vote No. 266--Rooney (R FL): Amendment No. 7--
Directs that foreign nationals suspected of terrorism be tried only by 
military commissions.
  I do not believe we should be taking away the tool of our robust 
domestic court system from the President. Military commissions are 
often an appropriate venue, but our domestic courts have tried and 
convicted terrorists on numerous occasions and are often the best tool 
we have for trying and convicting those who seek to harm Americans.
  ``No''--rollcall Vote No. 267--Bartlett (R MD): Amendment No. 8--
Prevents the DoD from requiring contractors to enter into a project 
labor agreement (PLA) as a condition of winning a federal construction 
  Project labor agreements are an important tool that our government 
uses for large scale construction jobs to ensure they are safe and 
efficient. They are often cheaper than not using PLAs and this 
amendment would impose an unnecessary mandate on our government.
  ``Yes''--rollcall Vote No. 269--Markey (D MA): Amendment No. 11--
Prohibits any funds made available by this Act, as well as any funds 
authorized and appropriated to the DoD through FY2023, from being used 
for the research, development, testing, and evaluation of a long range 
penetrating bomber aircraft.
  Our current bomber fleet is scheduled to be active for several more 
decades. This amendment will save $18 billion over the next ten years; 
funding could be better spent investing in our education, 
infrastructure and healthcare.
  ``Yes''--rollcall Vote No. 270--Polis (D CO): Amendment No. 12--
Reduces the funds authorized in this Act for the ground-based midcourse 
missile defense system by $403 million and would direct that amount to 
deficit reduction.
  The GAO recommended this reduction, and the Pentagon has suspended 
this program

[[Page E843]]

until the problem with the recent failed tests can be fixed. With our 
deficit so high and the need to invest in education, health care and 
infrastructure so great, we must find savings wherever they can be 
found, including the defense budget.