MOTION TO INSTRUCT CONFEREES ON S. CON. RES. 70, CONCURRENT RESOLUTION ON THE BUDGET FOR FISCAL YEAR 2009 -- (House of Representatives - May 14, 2008)
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Mr. RYAN of Wisconsin. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
First off, Mr. Speaker, I would like to celebrate the fact that we are here in this well talking about this motion to go to conference, and I want to compliment our chairman of the Budget Committee, Mr. Spratt, the gentleman from South Carolina. And I mean this in a very sincere way.
The budget process doesn't work if you don't have a budget, and I want to compliment the gentleman from South Carolina for making it 2 years in a row for actually bringing forward and getting through a budget resolution. It looked like it wasn't going to happen. We won't be supporting it, but the fact that the budget chairman is keeping the budget process intact speaks very good to this institution, good to the process, and I want to compliment the gentleman from South Carolina for doing that.
Now, on to the motion to instruct. Everyone agrees, Mr. Speaker, that we need to reduce our reliance on foreign oil. But frankly, if we really want to move forward with greater energy independence, we should increase our petroleum supply by increasing our domestic production of oil. The motion accomplishes just that.
The Republican motion calls on the conferees to increase the receipt levels in the final budget resolution by expanding leasing in Federal areas in the West, in the Outer Continental Shelf and in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in an environmentally sound manner.
Yesterday, the House voted overwhelmingly to suspend the purchase of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve as a means to increase oil supply and reduce gasoline prices. It's unclear whether this will have any impact on oil prices, much less gas prices.
This motion would accomplish that result. It would, No. 1, increase domestic oil production and put downward pressure on oil prices and gasoline prices; No. 2, it would reduce our reliance on foreign oil; and, No. 3, it would reduce the deficit.
More than a year ago, the Democratic majority pledged to bring gasoline prices down. On January 4, 2007, the day the Democratic majority took control of the House, the price of gas was an average of $2.33 a gallon. Today Americans are paying an average of $3.76 per gallon to put fuel in their cars. Just 2 days ago in Kenosha, Wisconsin it was $3.95. It's $4 in some areas. This is an increase of at least $1.43 a gallon.
Republicans are seeking to tap into America's great natural resources in an environmentally sound and effective way to provide the consumers the relief at the pump that they deserve, while reducing our reliance on foreign oil.
This Republican motion is a step in the right direction to enhance our energy security and put in place a long-term plan to provide relief at the pump. These are the steps we need to take to assist families, communities, small businesses, those that are suffering with soaring prices of oil and gasoline.
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