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Department of the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2012

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. CALVERT. Mr. Chairman, I rise in strong support of the Fiscal Year 2012 Interior, Environment and Related Agencies Appropriations bill. I would like to thank Chairman Simpson and Ranking Member Moran for being excellent leaders on the subcommittee. It has been a pleasure to work with both of them. I especially commend the 22 oversight hearings that our subcommittee held this year. The subcommittee works hard, and we have done our due diligence in putting this bill together.

The FY 2012 Interior and Environment Appropriations bill recognizes the current economic environment and the past 4 years of out-of-control spending. It is $2.1 billion below last year's level, and $3.8 billion below the President's 2012 request. It is a focused and lean bill which supports funding for duties which are clearly the responsibility of the Federal Government and makes tough decisions about how we allocate taxpayers' dollars.

The bill fully funds Federal firefighters and Forest Service Wildland Fire Management. It ensures our national parks, which belong to the American people, remain fully operational in 2012. And it includes $30 million for diesel emissions reduction grants to retrofit old diesel engines with cleaner burning ones, a program that has been successfully implemented across the United States and is contributing to cleaner air.

The bill also reduces the EPA inflated budget back down to the 2006 level and cuts $46 million in requested funding for burdensome regulation of greenhouse gases, which means control of carbon dioxide, a regulation unilaterally adopted by the administration that is making the U.S. less competitive in the world and sending American jobs overseas.

Finally, yes, Mr. Chairman, there are many spending reductions in this bill, including programs I support. However, we have to start somewhere to bring economic sanity back to the budgeting process, and this is one of the first of many steps to come.

In conclusion, I am pleased to support this bill. I urge my colleagues to support the bill.

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