[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. 4310. ``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 amended. ``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 prudent. ``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 leave. ``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 contract. 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.