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Public Statements

Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2012

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. FLEMING. Mr. Chairman, I rise today in support of the amendment being offered by the gentleman from Ohio, which would restore a modest 20 percent of over $1.1 billion in funding this bill cuts from the defense activities of the Department of Energy, which ensures the safety, security and reliability of our Nation's nuclear weapons.

The FY12 Energy and Water appropriations bill sharply reduces overall funding for the National Nuclear Security Administration from the President's budget request by more than 10 percent, or $1.1 billion, while increasing funding for Army Corps of Engineers water projects by 4 percent above the budget request. This is in addition to the $1 billion plus-up in emergency supplemental disaster relief added to the bill for the Mississippi River flooding.

As a Member who represents Louisiana, I can appreciate how critical funding for the Army Corps of Engineers is, but we have to consider those
priorities in light of the vital need to maintain our national security which since the end of World War II has rested on the strength of our strategic nuclear deterrent.

The reductions set forth in this measure would significantly impact NNSA's ability to implement the goals and policies established in the April 2010 Nuclear Posture Review and our Nation's nuclear modernization plans. Most concerning is a $498 million cut that this bill makes to the Weapons Activity account which provides the necessary technical support to ensure safety, security and effectiveness of the U.S. nuclear deterrent.

This bill also places at risk the timely replacement of Cold War-era nuclear infrastructure, specifically the construction of the Nation's plutonium capability at Los Alamos--the Chemistry and Metallurgy Replacement Facility, which is cut by $100 million out of the $300 million necessary for the FY12 activities.

Mr. Chairman, at a time when major defense spending cuts are on the horizon, we can ill afford to undercut our Nation's last line of defense, which has always been our nuclear deterrent.

I strongly urge support of this amendment.

Mr. TURNER. Mr. Chair, this House has three times previously confirmed our commitment to fully funding the NNSA activities. I would urge that as we go through the process of this bill that this funding be restored.

I ask unanimous consent to withdraw the amendment.

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