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Public Statements

Full-Year Continuing Appropriations Act, 2011

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. LaTOURETTE. Mr. Chair, I want to congratulate the gentleman from Kansas, one of our new Members, Mr. Pompeo, for not only a thoughtful amendment but an amendment when he is jumping right into the fray some 45 days after he has assumed office here. I think I was here for about 2 years before I even gave my first floor speech. So congratulations to him.

Sadly, however, we have to oppose your amendment. This was an account that the committee and the staff looked at hard as the CR was being prepared. It has been reduced by $5 million in the continuing resolution. It was at $16 million. It's down to $11 million in the CR. The feeling continues to be that cutting it further would be irresponsible because cutting the funding does nothing to change the mandate that's in the law of March 31 of this year that the industry has to report their emissions by that date.

Since this is the first time through this reporting requirement, there are obviously a lot of questions that businesses and industries all across the country have, and they are calling the EPA for technical assistance on how to be in compliance. If the program is reduced, as the gentleman's amendment would suggest, it will leave companies high and dry with a reporting requirement with no one on the other end to answer the telephone to help them out to meet their obligations. Considering that, we have felt that we could achieve the $5 million in savings now.

And I can tell the gentleman that it's at least a majority of the committee's feeling that we will review and address this issue in a more comprehensive manner as we proceed with the 2012 budget. As such, I recommend that our colleagues vote ``no'' on this amendment.

I yield back the balance of my time.

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Mr. LaTOURETTE. Mr. Chair, again, as with Mr. Pompeo's amendment, the gentleman from Kansas, the gentleman from New York (Mr. Reed) is also a new Member of the body, and I commend him for coming to the floor and offering this thoughtful amendment.

For those of us who have been here a little while, the seat which Mr. Reed holds used to belong to our dear friend Amo Houghton, who was a friend and a champion for many issues for many years in this body.

And although we welcome Mr. Reed to our company, we oppose his amendment. In the CR we have reduced the U.S.-Mexico border program by $7 million from $17 million in 2010 to $10 million in the continuing resolution. It's a 41 percent decrease. This action taken on behalf of the committee reduces the CR level to a level below the increase that was added in 2010 by the previous majority party, over and above President Obama's request.

This is a program that we plan to have active discussions on with the EPA during the 2012 budget hearings, and we'll either build the case for further reductions, or we will have a better understanding of why we should look elsewhere for additional cuts based upon programmatic needs.

Therefore, while I congratulate my friend and new colleague from New York, I recommend that our colleagues vote ``no'' on this amendment, given that we have achieved what we intended to achieve via the CR, and that is to take the necessary first step at past programmatic increases and allow for a deliberative process in 2012 to examine the true needs of this program.

I yield back the balance of my time.

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