Washington, DC - Today Congressmen Jim Moran, Gerry Connolly and Senators Jim Webb and Mark R. Warner applauded House passage of language both to cap the number of parking spaces at the Mark Center and require that the Army implement the IG's most recent recommendations. The parking cap is set at roughly 2,000 spaces and the IG recommendations require the Army to complete a new traffic study, with accurate data, and revise and update their transportation management plan to preserve existing levels of service. Both provisions were included in the FY'12 Omnibus Appropriations Bill set for passage in the Senate this afternoon.
"While the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) includes important provisions for our national defense, reluctantly, I must oppose the bill because it contains language that sets a frightening precedent which severely compromises the ideals, values and principles our nation was founded upon.
"It is a grave mistake to allow the government to detain terrorism suspects, even those who are American citizens, without charge or trial in military prisons. If an individual is accused of supporting terrorist groups or of committing an act of terrorism, they should have an opportunity to defend themselves in a court of law. It takes little imagination to consider how such a policy might be grossly misused against innocent people by future administrations.
"Further, the military should not - nor does it want to - enforce American law. But this bill would do exactly that, by imposing law enforcement duties upon our troops. Our civilian law enforcement agencies have proven themselves capable of apprehending, interrogating and prosecuting terrorism suspects. The United States is home to a world class civilian court system - one that has overseen the successful prosecution of more than 400 terrorists.
"The United States should never hold an individual, American or otherwise, indefinitely without charge. These provisions were poorly constructed and undermine our defining principles of liberty and justice for all."
"The Supercommittee's failure to act was disappointing yet predictable. I voted against its creation because the legislation through which it was enacted contained major cuts to discretionary spending with no corresponding increases in revenues - a so-called "Supercommittee" was little more than a platform for political posturing.
"The balanced budget amendment that failed to pass the House today is not a practical or responsible solution to our nation's budget woes. It would impose dramatic cuts when we can least afford them, cripple the economic recovery and imperil our social safety net: Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.
Washington, DC - Congressmen Jim Moran, Gerry Connolly and Senators Jim Webb and Mark Warner today announced the approval of $180 million for the widening of Route 1 through Ft. Belvoir to accommodate the influx of new military and civilian personnel and hospital traffic related to BRAC. This funding announcement marks a contract award stemming from the $300 million appropriation secured last year by Reps. Moran and Chris Van Hollen for BRAC-related transportation improvements. Construction will begin following an environmental study which Fairfax County has been conducting in anticipation of this award. The dollar amount is $30 million higher than originally anticipated, stemming from the cost of completing all three phases of the project.
"This is a big win for Northern Virginia as a region, the commuters along Rt. 1 and DoD employees at Ft. Belvoir," said Rep. Jim Moran. "Ft. Belvoir is home to a state of the art hospital and with full funding, patients and their families will be able to travel more safely and quickly to receive medical attention and visit loved ones. I'd like to specially thank the DOD's Office of Economic Adjustment for understanding the dire transportation needs of our community, Dr. Dorothy Robyn, Under Secretary of Defense for Installations and Environment, for helping spearhead the effort at DoD, Senators Webb and Warner for pushing the measure through the Senate, and our local officials in Fairfax County, Chairwoman Sharon Bulova and Supervisors Jeff McKay and Gerry Hyland, for hitting the ground running on a project that means so much for the corridor."
Three women awarded the Nobel Peace Prize this month demonstrate the lessons our Congress needs to recall as we debate issues of foreign policy and national security.
These three leaders -- President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and peace activist Leymah Gbowee of Liberia and Yemeni democracy advocate Tawakul Karman -- have changed our world. We in the United States should be thrilled by the Nobel Committee's choice, because their success demonstrates core values animating our foreign policy: that local, grassroots participation -- including women -- is a foundation of social progress, and that the demand for human rights can overcome even the most entrenched corruption. And our foreign assistance programs have been a support to all three laureates in their efforts to bring peace, democracy and justice to their countries.
Judging by the ongoing appropriations process, Congress may be losing sight of those values. Drastic cuts to our poverty-focused development assistance will make it much harder for us to extend a hand to the millions across the globe who would form the movements to change their world like Johnson Sirleaf, Gbowee and Karman are doing.
"The death of Moammar Gaddafi puts a grim end to the months-long struggle to eliminate his brutal hold over the Libyan people.
Following passage of Virginia Senate Bill 924, the Virginia Board of Health approved a set of regulations last month that would essentially classify health centers providing abortion services as hospitals.
The legislation builds upon current annual leave banks in most federal agencies and is expected to be nearly cost neutral. Once enacted, federal employees will be permitted to donate their excess sick leave to agency leave banks, augmenting currently established annual leave banks.