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Congressman Kennedy - Remarks on 1998 Gulf War legislation

Congressman Kennedy - Remarks on 1998 Gulf War legislation

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Published by Anthony Hardie
Congressional Record, remarks of Rep. Joseph P. Kennedy II on Persian Gulf War veterans' comprehensive legislation, including creation of the Research Advisory Committee (RAC) on Gulf War Veterans' Illnesses, Aug. 7, 1998.
Congressional Record, remarks of Rep. Joseph P. Kennedy II on Persian Gulf War veterans' comprehensive legislation, including creation of the Research Advisory Committee (RAC) on Gulf War Veterans' Illnesses, Aug. 7, 1998.

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Published by: Anthony Hardie on Jul 01, 2013
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CONGRESSIONAL RECORD
Extensions of Remarks 
E1636
August 7, 199
help all of us deal with this unique crisis, with-out penalizing them for their efforts. With Jan-uary 1, 2000 fast approaching, more informa-tion rather than less—shared sooner ratherthan later—may be the difference between in-convenience and disaster.I am pleased to see the Administration hasproposed similar legislation to address thisissue. It is a worthy effort, although it may fallshort in some areas. For example, the Admin-istration bill protects statements that are good-faith mistakes but does not include protectionfor statements shown to be true. The bill intro-duced today by myself and Mr. D
REIER
willprotect all Year 2000 disclosure statements,giving companies incentives to provide moreinformation, not less.Mr. Speaker, I hope we can quickly passthis timely legislation during this Congress,and I look forward to working with the Admin-istration and others on this important issue.Also, I welcome suggestions on how we mayimprove the legislation introduced today. TheY2K challenge is extensive and the stakes arevery high. I believe the legislation we have in-troduced here today is a critical step in suc-cessfully meeting that challenge.I hope my colleagues will join me and Mr.D
REIER
in supporting this bill.
                                                                                
PERSIAN GULF WAR VETERANSHEALTH CARE AND RESEARCHACT OF 1998
SPEECH OF
HON. JOSEPH P. KENNEDY II
OF MASSACHUSETTS
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
Monday, August 3, 1998 
Mr. KENNEDY of Massachusetts. Mr.Speaker, for the past seven years, since thePersian Gulf War ended, our veterans havesuffered from a myriad of symptoms with noend in sight—dizziness, severe headaches,chest pain, shortness of breath, aching jointsand depression, to cite just a few examples ofwhat they are going through.Seven years ago, when the Persian GulfWar ended, a hearing was held here in Wash-ington to investigate reports that Persian GulfVeterans were suffering a series of mysterioussymptoms. But there were no veterans at thewitness table in the Committee room. So in1992, I held a hearing in Boston to gather tes-timony from sick veterans who could tell meabout their health problems. At that time, sickveterans were being called malingerers orworse, by the Defense Department. Peopledidn’t believe they were really sick.But by early 1993, it was clear that therewas a problem. Literally hundreds of veteranswere calling my office to report of symptomsranging from skin rashes and respiratory prob-lems to kidney failure and cancer that they be-lieved were linked to service in the Gulf con-flict. The Pentagon continued to deny any linkbut was forced to take a closer look at thefacts once countries that were members of thePersian Gulf Coalition began reporting expo-sures of their own troops to chemical and bio-logical weapons.Finally, in April 1996, the CIA released a re-port showing solid evidence that thousands ofchemical weapons had been stored atKhamisiyah and that our troops may havebeen exposed to those deadly agents after theallied forces bombed the storage facilities.Now here we are, seven years after thewar. We’ve financed 103 research projects, ata cost of $49 million dollars, and we’ve had apresidential panel study the veterans healthproblems. But DoD and VA have not an-swered the veterans’ questions about whatcaused them to get sick and when they willget effective treatment.The veterans are frustrated, and rightly so.They still suffer from a myriad of illnesses likestomach disorders and painful muscles and joints, to name just a few of them. The veter-ans don’t want to hear the argument that theirillnesses are caused by stress.When I talk to the veterans, they tell methey do want to know what caused them toget sick, but they also want research to bedone to find effective treatment into exposureto biological and chemical agents. That iswhat they believe is the key to the problem.These are brave men and women who an-swered their country’s call at a time of need.They deserve a full accounting of how theirservice might be linked to these horrible ill-nesses that have so devastated their familylives and careers.So based on the discussions I’ve had withPersian Gulf veterans over these seven years,I am pleased to have participated in negotia-tions to create a bi-partisan bill, HR 3980,‘‘The Persian Gulf War Veterans Health Careand Research Act of 1998’’ with ChairmanB
OB
S
TUMP
, Ranking Member L
ANE
E
VANS
,Health Subcommittee Chairman C
LIFF
S
TEARNS
, and Health Subcommittee RankingMember L
UIS
G
UTIERREZ
.I don’t believe we have had a focused, co-herent federal research strategy. HR 3980 willgive the Persian Gulf Veterans confidence thatpriority is being given to researching their ex-posure to biological or chemical weapons, andthe resulting effects on their health, so that ef-fective treatment can be found and adminis-tered, to fight the detrimental effects of this ex-posure on the veterans’ health.Through this bill, we will ensure priority isgiven to exposure to biological and chemicalweapons by setting up a Public Advisory Com-mittee to advise the Persian Gulf Veterans Co-ordinating Board on what kind of research totarget. I am pleased that members of this Ad-visory Committee will represent groups thatwere formed specifically to help Persian GulfVeterans. Their active participation on theCommittee will ensure that adequate, targetedresearch into exposure to biological andchemical agents will be done.Physicians at the Department of VeteransAffairs, and at the Pentagon, don’t have atraining program to become updated on howto administer the latest treatment protocols asthey become available from research findings.This is essential, and is badly needed. I ampleased that HR 3980 includes provisions toprovide training to physicians at VA and thePentagon, so they can give the best possiblecare to our Persian Gulf veterans.Finally, Mr. Speaker, this bill provides a pro-vision I sought to publish treatment protocolson the Internet and in peer-reviewed medical journals because many Persian Gulf veteransreceive health care in the private sector. If wepublish the research findings, private sectorphysicians who treat Persian Gulf Veteranswill have access to those treatment protocols.It is my hope that HR 3980, ‘‘The PersianGulf War Veterans Health Care and ResearchAct of 1998’’ will restore the veterans’ con-fidence in our government’s efforts to makethem well again, will give them a fresh start,and will take the needed steps to finally solvethe Persian Gulf veterans’ health problems.
                                                                                
PERSONAL EXPLANATION
HON. RON PACKARD
OF CALIFORNIA
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
Friday, August 7, 199
Mr. PACKARD. Mr. Speaker, I was absentfrom the House of Representatives on August6, 1998 for rollcall votes 406 to 416. Had Ibeen present, the following is how I wouldhave voted:Rollcall No. 406 ‘‘YEA’’; Rollcall No. 407‘‘NO’’; Rollcall No. 408 ‘‘NO’’; Rollcall No. 409‘‘NO’’; Rollcall No. 410 ‘‘NO’’; Rollcall No. 411‘‘AYE’’; Rollcall No. 412 ‘‘AYE’’; Rollcall No.413 ‘‘NO’’; Rollcall No. 414 ‘‘AYE’’; RollcallNo. 415 ‘‘AYE’’; and Rollcall No. 416 ‘‘YEA’’.
                                                                                
WHITE HOUSE REMARKS OFOFFICER GERRY FLYNN
HON. MARTIN T. MEEHAN
OF MASSACHUSETTS
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
Friday, August 7, 199
Mr. MEEHAN. Mr. Speaker, I rise today torecognize and honor the stirring and insightfulremarks of Lowell Police Officer Gerry Flynnat a White House Rose Garden event yester-day, on the importance of preserving andstrengthening the Federal Brady Law. OfficerFlynn spoke eloquently about the price we payas a society when guns find their way into thewrong hands and the need to extend theBrady five-day waiting period. I congratulateOfficer Flynn for the honor bestowed upon himin being invited to speak at the White Housein front of the President, and I congratulatehim upon seizing that opportunity to do the en-tire city of Lowell proud. I am submitting Offi-cer Flynn’s White House remarks for theR
ECORD
, so that his words may remain with allof us.
S
 TATEMENT OF
L
OWELL
P
OLICE
O
FFICER
G
ERRY
F
LYNN AT THE
W
HITE
H
OUSE ON THE
B
RADY
H
ANDGUN
L
AW
Good morning. As National Vice-Presidentof the International Brotherhood of PoliceOfficers (IBPO) and President of the LowellPolice Patrolmen’s Association, it is trulyan honor and a privilege to be here with youthis morning. On behalf of those of us in lawenforcement, it gives me great pleasure tospeak in support of an issue of such enor-mous importance as ‘The Brandy HandgunLaw.’’Robert F. Kennedy once said, ‘It is a re-sponsibility to put away childish things, tomake the possession and use of firearms amatter undertaken only by serious peoplewho will use them with the restraint andmaturity that their dangerous nature de-serves and demands. For far too long, wehave dealt with these deadly weapons as if they were harmless toys. It is past time thatwe wipe this stain of violence from ourland.’’ Yet, thirty years after his death by a hand-gun, we are still attempting to wipe thestain of violence from our land—except thestain of violence has now spread into theclassrooms occupied by our children.

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