BREAK IN TRANSCRIPT
Mr. PALLONE. Mr. Speaker, this resolution being offered by my colleagues on the other side of the aisle is a simple waste of time, and it doesn't address job creation, which must be the number one priority of this Congress.
Today, we are literally coming to the floor to spend nearly 10 hours of debate telling the committees of the House to do what they already should be doing. Since January 5, when this Congress was sworn in, we have not voted on one bill that will strengthen our economy or create jobs--not a single one. While we're doing this, the Republican leadership is putting together a spending bill that will cost our economy jobs. The bill makes sweeping cuts in research and development, cuts that will jeopardize America's position as a world leader in innovation.
In the State of the Union, the President set the right priorities with his focus on job creation, economic recovery, debt reduction, and economic opportunity for all Americans.
I am here with my Democratic colleagues from the Energy and Commerce Committee where we worked over the last 4 years to keep America at the forefront of the world in clean-energy technologies and quality health care, so I am trying to understand why our committee is down here today, wasting our time, when we could be having hearings to generate new ideas on how to create jobs and strengthen our economy.
Republicans simply don't get it. They don't have a clue. Democrats have lots of ideas. Investments in clean energy will not only reduce greenhouse gas emissions and keep our environment healthy, but they will also create countless new jobs.
I am encouraged by the President's announcement this week that he is going to prioritize offshore wind development in areas off the Atlantic coast, including in my State of New Jersey. This is exactly the type of clean energy America should be investing in, which will reduce our dependence on foreign oil and gas and create jobs. That's why I oppose the Republican plan to cut almost $900 million from energy efficiency and renewable energy programs that create jobs and move America towards a more self-efficient energy market that doesn't rely on foreign oil from volatile places like the Middle East.
Another important issue that we could be discussing in our committee is health science and innovation. The health science industry, which includes pharmaceuticals, medical devices and biotechnology, plays a critical role in our national economy as well as in New Jersey's economy. A recent report by Research America noted that New Jersey is the third largest research and development employer in the U.S., with more than 211,000 jobs supported by health R&D, including 50,000 direct jobs in health R&D.
Federal R&D investments are critical for continued economic growth. For example, the National Institutes of Health award many grants to universities, which, in turn, bring money and jobs to States. In 2007, New Jersey received $280 million in research grants from NIH, which helped create and support 3,738 new jobs.
We need to continue to make smart, disciplined, forward-looking investments in innovation. Unfortunately, my colleagues on the other side of the aisle have proposed cutting $1 billion from NIH funding in the spending bill they plan to bring to the floor next week. This is not the solution to keeping America at the forefront of R&D in the world, and it is going to hurt our ability to create high-quality high-tech jobs.
BREAK IN TRANSCRIPT