DEPARTMENTS OF COMMERCE, JUSTICE, AND STATE, THE JUDICIARY, AND RELATED AGENCIES APPROPRIATIONS ACT, 2005 -- (House of Representatives - July 07, 2004)
The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to House Resolution 701 and rule XVIII, the Chair declares the House in the Committee of the Whole House on the State of the Union for the consideration of the bill, H.R. 4754.
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Mr. PALLONE. Mr. Chairman, I would like to follow up on the statements made by the gentleman from California (Mr. Farr) with regard to the coastal and ocean levels of funding in the bill.
First of all, let me say that the gentleman from Virginia (Mr. Wolf) and our ranking member, the gentleman from New York (Mr. Serrano), have over the years made major commitments to our oceans and coasts. And so when we say today we would like to see more funding placed in conference for things like NOAA, marine mammals, coastal zone management, it in no way takes away from what these two gentlemen and the subcommittee have accomplished over the years.
I think the reason that we feel very strongly right now that there needs to be more of a funding commitment in these ocean- and coastal-related activities is because of the reports that came out by the National Ocean Commission and Pew Ocean Commission, which both stress the need for a lot more funding in these programs. They basically pointed to the decline of the ocean environment and increasing stress on the ocean and coastal areas over the years; and also because of the lack of scientific understanding, that more money was needed for basic science so we understand what the problems are in oceans.
I do not want to repeat everything that the gentleman from California (Mr. Farr) said, but as was mentioned, there is a 15 percent cut in funding for NOAA. There is about $160 million less than the fiscal year 2004 enactment for the National Ocean Service and other programs like fisheries, marine mammals and coastal zone management which could use more funding.
We are hoping during the conference these needs will be addressed. Knowing both the chairman and the ranking member, I am sure they will make every effort to try to accomplish that when we go to conference in having to deal with the other body. I thank the gentlemen for their support over the years, and I hope we can see increased funding for these vital programs given the recent reports from the National Ocean Commission and the Pew Ocean Commission.