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Department of Defense and Full-Year Continuing Appropriations Act, 2011

Floor Speech

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Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. FRELINGHUYSEN. I thank the gentleman for yielding.

Madam Speaker, at the outset, let me say I share the desire to apply additional spending cuts to this continuing resolution. However, even though this measure cuts more Federal spending than any other bill in the history of our Nation, I recognize the President and the Senate will not support additional reductions. This is unfortunate because, like many of us in this House, I recognize that our Nation has compiled a public debt of $14 trillion and that our annual budget deficit will total $1.5 trillion into the foreseeable future--an unsustainable amount. Simply put, we are broke, and this bill is but a first step toward putting us on a much more sound fiscal path.

The 2012 appropriations package lies ahead, and we need to take another critical step to cut spending and to do it in a rational way to promote jobs and economic growth. The Energy and Water portion of this legislation totals $31.75 billion, a 10 percent cut from the President's budget request. Our approach was simple: Every program in our jurisdiction was scrutinized for savings while protecting national security and while providing appropriate support for job growth and a balanced energy supply.

Overall funding for the National Nuclear Security Administration is $697 million, a 7 percent increase from fiscal year 2010, the only significant increase in this section. This funding will ensure that our nuclear weapons remain reliable and that our programs to stop the spread of fissile material overseas stay strong. There is no more important mandate for the Department of Energy.

Funding for the Army Corps of Engineers is $4.9 billion, $48 million below the fiscal year 2011 request. Program dollars were concentrated where they should be--in the operation, maintenance and construction accounts--to ensure that the Corps had sufficient funding for its key missions.

Madam Speaker, these cuts are only the beginning. We need to do more, and I support the measure.

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