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Occurrences in the Congressional Record

Entry Title Date
The 36Th Anniversary Of The Taiwan Relations Act March 26, 2015
André Carson, D-IN
"Taiwan has also developed into an economic powerhouse over the last three decades. Its rapidly growing economy has allowed it to become one of the United States largest trading partners. In fact, Taiwan’s imports of American goods exceeded $36 billion in 2012, a number that continues to grow every year. Many Hoosiers take advantage of this robust trade relationship, helping to build Indiana’s economy and create good paying jobs."
Honoring Austin Hernandez March 26, 2015
Pete Olson, R-TX
"Imagine a world in which a couple could choose the gender of their baby. There would be no more suspense about the baby’s gender. Before conception, people would know and would be able to give themselves adequate time to prepare for the arrival of their new bundle of joy. Well, this is a process that actually exists; it’s called gender selection. On May 31st, 2012 The U.S. House of Representatives voted on whether or not to pass a national Ban on the use of abortion to eliminate an unborn child because of an undesired sex. This fast track procedure was not passed, but still has hope. If it were passed then the gender selection could be promoted and this reoccurring problem would not exist. Over the Past decade Gender selection has become a common practice used by many couples around the world. The world today is not perfect, and neither are its people. Heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s, and many other diseases run ramped in children, and one can’t really prevent it. But what if it were preventable? With gender selection, this is possible. According to the Center for Human Reproduction (CHR), “In some cases, the so-called “sex-linked diseases” are inherited via the mother but only male offspring are affected (muscular dystrophy, hemophilia, etc.).” For example, because hemophilia only affects males, a woman with hemophilia has the disease but it does not affect her. However if she were to become pregnant with a boy, the disease would then affect him. With gender selection she would be able to save her baby boy from a life of problems. This process has led to fewer abortions and increased the health of children, which in turn could virtually increase the life expectancy of the U.S. There are not only health reasons, but also psychological reasons for gender selection. The CHR states that “a single female may feel better equipped having a daughter than a son; parents who lost a child may feel a strong need for a child of the same gender.” If one were a single parent, wouldn’t they feel better with a child of the same gender? They also claim that parent’s whose children have passed away, may have the desire for another child of the same gender. In fact, many parents are deciding upon this option as a way to help them move on and assist with the grieving process. Another negative effect of gender selection is the opening of new doors and new possibilities when choosing a gender. How far could it go? Maybe as far as choosing hair color, eye color, intelligence, height, and ability, who knows? People will do anything for perfection. This is basically “commodifying children”, says Gender Selection of Babies, and this could lead to a whole revolution in baby making. People wouldn’t be unique anymore; the natural process of development would become obsolete. The unforeseen repercussions of gender selection could further harm society. Gender selection, although it can be helpful, has more negative effects than positive and should not be a decision made lightly. Gender Selection has made the country think having a baby in a different way. Now for many having a child could turn into some sort of shopping spree for the newest and best item/baby. However, this process has helped Americans and many others around the world choose the sex they want. Not only has it also allowed families, who didn’t believe it was possible, to have children but it has also has given them the choice to save a life and chose what they want. Gender selection has changed America, and will continue to help stop the abortion of unwanted children."
Stop Targeting Federal Employees March 26, 2015
Robert Wittman, R-VA
"Mr. Speaker, I voted on Wednesday, March 25, in favor of H. Con. Res. 27, authored by Budget Committee Chairman Tom Price, because it is my belief that Congress has a responsibility to address our nation’s fiscal crisis. This proposal is simply a visionary document and a way forward in the budgetary process so we can continue the debate about the financial challenges our country faces and return to funding the government through regular order. Like last year’s proposal, the budget plan for FY 2016 calls for significant reductions in discretionary spending, reduced taxes and the full repeal of the President’s costly health care reform law. It proposes a balanced budget in less than 10 years and recognizes that we can no longer ignore the trillions of dollars in mandatory spending on entitlement programs that almost completely consume our nation’s budget. This year’s plan also asks Members of Congress to again lead by example by cutting their own pay, benefits and office budgets in the quest to reduce our debt and put this nation on sound financial footing. Further, the proposal protects our nation’s defense and security forces. I have repeatedly said that we must get serious about the national security threats that exist in this world and what is required of our forward presence and response forces. This budget gives the United States the flexibility and capabilities that are essential to the rebalance of our security posture toward the Asia Pacific, our enduring security commitments in the Middle East, and the need to respond to contingency operations around the globe. Our nation has no greater asset than the folks who have served and are currently serving our nation, both military and civilian alike. Their dedication and service to our nation is unwavering and it is important that Congress provide the best equipment, training, and compensation so these men and women can meet their duties in full. The House budget plan restores national security spending and helps our defense maintain its current strength. These are all measures that I have and will continue to support; however, it is disappointing that this proposal, just as in past budget proposals, unfairly targets only one group of Americans for additional sacrifices: the civilian federal workforce. I have serious concerns that this resolution again forces federal employees to contribute more towards their retirement, approximately six percent, which is the equivalent of a pay cut, and eliminates their defined benefit retirement plan for deficit reduction purposes. It also goes farther than previous budget plans by proposing to decrease the rate of return on the Thrift Savings Plan’s Government Securities Fund (G Fund). America’s First District is full of hardworking and dedicated citizens who serve the people of this nation every day, such as on the front lines of the War on Terror or in support roles for our military. Still others provide invaluable services at places such as VA hospitals, cancer and Alzheimer’s research laboratories, and law enforcement agencies such as the FBI and DEA. And yet, federal civilian employees continue to see their pay cut and their benefits reduced on nearly every occasion. Federal employees have already endured a three-year pay freeze; furloughs due to sequestration; and were required to not work because of indecision and political gamesmanship that resulted in a government shutdown on October 1, 2013 lasting 16 days. In addition, employees hired since 2012 have seen required contribution increases to their retirement, bringing our federal workers’ total sacrifice to date to $159 billion over ten years. It is because of these sacrifices that I supported legislation to allow furloughed workers to receive back pay for time out of work during the 2013 shutdown. In addition, I introduced the Federal Employee Combat Zone Tax Parity Act, which would extend the tax credit available to military personnel who serve in combat zones to the civilian federal employees that work alongside them. Congress charges federal employees with important duties and expects these duties to be performed with the highest caliber of expertise, but rather than being recognized for their service, these public servants see their salary and benefits continually used as a pawn in the game of politics. We continue to ask our federal civilian workforce to do more with less. According to data collected by the Office of Personnel Management’s Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey, there has been a decline in federal employee job and workplace satisfaction for the fourth consecutive year. A score sheet compiled by the Partnership for Public Service shows that government-wide, federal employee job satisfaction and commitment fell 0.9 points in 2014 to a score of 56.9 out of 100. Morale among our nation’s civilian federal workforce is at a historical low and these continued attacks keep the highly-skilled and experienced people we need from seeking a federal job. Enough is enough. I am fully ready and willing to enact deeper cuts to my own salary, benefits and congressional operations, which are provisions included in this year’s budget, but we must stop singling out federal employees simply because Congress continually fails to address the out-of-control spending. There is no question that our nation must get its spending in order, and federal employees have been and are certainly willing to continue to do their part to help in this effort. Their daily contributions to their fellow citizens and to the cause of freedom are simply innumerable, and yet during deficit reduction debate over the last several years, federal employees have been asked to contribute much more than their fair share. Our federal civilian employees live a life of selfless service and they deserve our appreciation. Mr. Speaker, I voted in support of H. Con. Res. 27 because it is Congress’ constitutional duty to budget and appropriate. Congress must get back to regular order. Congress does our federal employees no favors when governing by continuing resolution and through crisis management. We must bring more certainty to the annual federal appropriations process. This budget proposal is a means for Congress to further discuss our country’s fiscal challenges, but I will continue to push for deficit reduction efforts in the future that focus more realistically on addressing the true drivers of our debt, rather than targeting those who serve their nation every day."
Budget Week March 26, 2015
Frederica Wilson, D-FL
"I want to set expectations, Mr. Speaker, on how we are going to get this done. Again, I want to go back. 1996 was when we first had this conversation, completed the very first study of getting this done; the very first conditional approval at the Federal level, 1999. In 2012, folks finally made the decision; South Carolina and Georgia sorted out their issues in May of 2013; final project permits came out in July of 2013; State of Georgia, Johnny on the spot, funding it with $266 million. Another round of bond initiatives will go out this summer."
Staff Sergeant Joseph D’Augustine United States Post Office Renaming March 25, 2015
Scott Garrett, R-NJ
"Staff Sergeant D’Augustine was killed almost 3 years ago this week, on March 27, 2012, while conducting combat operations in Afghanistan. In the greatest act of sacrifice possible, he gave his life while protecting his fellow men and women in uniform. He was just 29 years old."

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