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Public Statements

Advanced Fuels Infrastructure Research And Development Act

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC


ADVANCED FUELS INFRASTRUCTURE RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT ACT -- (House of Representatives - February 08, 2007)

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Mr. CANTOR. Mr. Chairman, today's debate on H.R. 547 ultimately is about finding ways for our Nation to reduce its dependence on petro fuels. I offer this amendment, Mr. Chairman, one in response to an issue that has caught the attention of the American people and is being wildly reported in the press. The subject of this report in the amendment is the request by the office of the Speaker for the use of a luxury jetliner.

Today, the New York Post cleverly questioned the ``Airogance,'' that is A-I-R, of a request to use a $22,000-an-hour taxpayer-funded luxury jetliner to fly the Speaker from coast to coast.

While citing security concerns, a request was made by the Office of the Speaker for a plane that, according to the Air Force, has a game room, a stateroom, entertainment center, bedroom, shower, and seats 42 to 50 people.

Now, Mr. Chairman, I hardly think these amenities help with security, and I personally would describe them at the very least as inappropriate and an unnecessary extravagance.

Again, H.R. 547 is about finding ways to shift our Nation's patterns of fuel consumption. We hear a lot of talk about doing everything we can to achieve energy independence. And there is a lot of talk as well about stopping global warming. In this context, Mr. Chairman, these reports and the underlying request by the Office of the Speaker is an extravagance of power. It is something that, frankly, the taxpayers won't swallow. And I urge the passage of this amendment.

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Mr. CANTOR. Mr. Chairman, I thank the gentlewoman.

Mr. Chairman, there has been a lot said on this floor today in this debate. Frankly, questions have been raised about the expectations of the American people and what it is that they seek for their Members of Congress to do.

There was one Member on the other side of the aisle who said we ought to get on with the serious business of the day. Well, Mr. Chairman, the ability to fly on a jumbo jetliner is a privilege never before granted to a Member of Congress. And I know one thing, Mr. Chairman; the American taxpayers do expect us to take seriously the decisions surrounding the expenditure of those dollars. They expect us to respect that those tax dollars do not belong to the Speaker, do not belong to any of us. They are just that, the taxpayers' dollars.

They also expect us to lead by example, and I would want to pose to every speaker that spoke today and ask them, do they really in their heart of hearts support our Speaker having the access to a 42-seat jumbo jetliner?

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Mr. CANTOR. Mr. Chairman, I demand a recorded vote.

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