ENERGY AND WATER DEVELOPMENT AND RELATED AGENCIES APPROPRIATIONS ACT, 2008
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Mr. CAPUANO. Mr. Chairman, several questions I guess I heard. Number one, about earmarks in general. I respect that. That is a legitimate debate to have. I personally thought I wasn't elected just to rubber-stamp the President's desires or his administration's; I was elected to also exercise judgment, judgment on behalf of my constituents and judgment on behalf of the people of America. One of the things I think is important is to educate the children of America.
This particular earmark goes to a private college that has entered into a private, private partnership with Merck to build a new science lab, to educate the children from, I would dare say, some of them might be from the Fifth District of Texas. This is a private university run by nuns. And, by the way, if Sister Janet ever called you and asked you for a favor, you would do it, too, if you had any brains, because I wouldn't say no to Sister Janet. So I don't know exactly what the debate is. This particular one is to educate our own children in an merging field of biotechnology and other sciences.
Now, I know that some of the people that don't like this amendment also don't want us to bring people from overseas for those jobs. I question, where would they come from? Who will we hire? If we don't want people coming from overseas, which is a fair comment, and we don't want to educate our own children, where is the next generation of scientists coming from if we don't help?
Mr. Chairman, this is just another ploy to get some kind of philosophical opportunity to make marks. It doesn't help the country, it doesn't address the specific item at hand, it is just a way to make some television time; and I urge this amendment be defeated.
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Mr. CAPUANO. Mr. Chairman, I understand that people don't like to pay taxes. Neither do I, unless those taxes are used for wise and important purposes. And if the gentleman is so concerned about every taxpayer that doesn't want to pay taxes, then why are we still in Iraq?
The amounts of money you are concerned with you said is a very small
amount of money. And it is, to you. It is not to Sister Janet and to the students at Emmanuel College. And if you are that concerned with it, all you have to do is just shut down Iraq for less than 30 seconds and you would have this money available to us. So I don't believe that the real concern is tax money, because if it were, we wouldn't be having this debate. We would be having a debate on another matter that is much more financially irresponsible.