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Energy And Water Development And Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2008

Floor Speech

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Date:
Location: Washington, DC


ENERGY AND WATER DEVELOPMENT AND RELATED AGENCIES APPROPRIATIONS ACT, 2008 -- (House of Representatives - June 20, 2007)

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Mr. GARRETT of New Jersey. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

How many times do we have Members come before us on this floor with an amendment, and they begin their statement by saying, here I have a commonsense amendment to this piece of legislation. Well, in this case, I do believe I have a commonsense amendment to this legislation, and in fact most Members of this House I believe would agree with that statement as well.

Why I say that is because the language of this amendment is similar, or dare I say identical, to language that I have used in previous amendments on appropriation bills in past Congresses, and these amendments, quite fortunately, have passed pretty much by voice vote in those Congresses.

Mr. VISCLOSKY. Mr. Chairman, if the gentleman will yield, I would indicate to the gentleman that I am happy to accept his amendment.

Mr. HOBSON. Mr. Chairman, if the gentleman will yield, I also am in support of the amendment.

Mr. GARRETT of New Jersey. Mr. Chairman, reclaiming my time, I appreciate that. For those who are watching, let me let them know what the amendment does.

What this amendment does, and I appreciate both gentlemen's accepting this, is to say our Federal agencies should use common sense when they go to international conferences.

In the past, there were extravagances. There were cases when over 100 individuals, government employees, would go to these conferences overseas, costing literally millions of taxpayers' dollars to do so. We are saying, let's rein that in a little bit. Let's put a number on that. Some people say this number is too high. This number puts it at 50. So any particular agency going overseas, Africa, Asia, wherever else, let's have them not send more than 50. Some of us would like it to be lower, but we will put it at 50 of their agency employees to that conference. I think just like any business or family, they would have to absolutely exercise priorities and common sense as well. We do so here.

Mr. Chairman, I thank both gentlemen for accepting this amendment.

Mr. Chairman, I yield back the balance of my time.

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