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Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2012

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. TURNER. Mr. Chairman, I intend to offer this amendment and then request unanimous consent for its withdrawal.

This amendment would restore funding to the most critically and historically underfunded portions of this bill: the defense activities of the Department of Energy as carried out by the semiautonomous National Nuclear Security Administration, the NNSA. I thought it was important to offer this amendment so that the record of the discussion of this bill could focus also on the importance of funding shortfalls that are occurring in this bill.

The amendment would restore $241 million to NNSA defense activities, our nuclear weapons activities, with an offset from two water project catch-all funding lines, in the Corps of Engineers' account that were not requested by the President. This restoration is critically important to revitalize and modernize our nuclear security enterprise.

I encourage my colleagues to consider these charts that depict the cuts in this bill to the vitally important national security programs:

The FY12 Defense appropriations bill, as reported by the Appropriations Committee, cut Department of Defense spending by 1 percent below the President's budget request, the smaller amount. The FY12 Energy and Water appropriations bill before us cuts funding for the defense activities of the NNSA by 10 percent, including a 7 percent cut for nuclear weapons activities and nuclear modernization.

Again, there is only a 1 percent cut that is occurring as policy to DOD, but as you can see, NNSA, which is a defense activity, is being cut by 10, our nuclear weapons activities by seven. Meanwhile, the energy and water bill increases spending on water projects through the Corps of Engineers by over 4 percent of the budget requests, and that is leaving aside the $1 billion energy supplemental for water projects to address funding on the Mississippi River.

The problem is that nuclear weapons spending is considered part of the Energy and Water appropriations bill instead of Defense appropriations. The funds cut from NNSA support critically needed nuclear modernization efforts that are strongly supported by people on both sides of the aisle, on both sides of this Capitol, and by the administration.

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