Welcoming an "Honor Flight" to the World War II Memorial
Welcoming an “Honor Flight” to the World War II Memorial
October 14, 2013
Last weekend, I had the tremendous privilege of greeting an “Honor Flight” of veterans from Oregon who travelled to Washington, D.C. to visit the World War II Memorial. It’s always a privilege to welcome members of the “Greatest Generation” to the Nation’s Capital.
Although the open-air Memorial has been closed by the Administration during the government shutdown, the National Park Police allowed the veterans and their families to enter. My colleague from Oregon, Rep. Peter DeFazio, was also on hand to greet the veterans and present them with American flags flown over the Capitol. Each of these men and women who served is a hero, and it was an honor to greet them and help ensure they could visit their Memorial.
You might notice that I’m tieless in the second photo…one veteran liked my patriotic tie so much, I gave it too him!
Working to reopen important parts of our government
As work on a broader solution to the government’s spending problem continues, the House continues to pass bipartisan bills to reopen areas of our federal government and fund programs that both parties agree are essential.
I was especially troubled by news this week that the Pentagon would not pay death benefits to families of service members killed overseas, like Cody Patterson, an Army Ranger from Philomath, who gave his life in Afghanistan defending our nation. I believe that the Department of Defense had the authority to continue to pay these benefits under the Pay Our Military Act. But last week, the House voted unanimously to ensure that death benefits to families of fallen troops will continue to be disbursed during the government shutdown. I’m glad that the Senate quickly passed this as well, and it was signed by the President last week.
Unfortunately, little progress has been made on other bills to fund important government priorities. Since the shutdown began, I’ve supported plans to pay for veterans’ programs and the National Guard, reopen National Parks like Crater Lake, continue lifesaving research at the National Institute of Health, and make sure FEMA has what it needs to respond to natural disasters. For a full list of these bills, visit: http://www.speaker.gov/senatemustact.
All passed the House with strong bipartisan support. All are now sitting in the Senate, waiting for a vote. The Senate should move quickly to take up these plans and fund these essential services while talks continue on a broader solution.