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Public Statements

Military Construction and Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2012

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. McCAIN. Mr. President, I would like to yield 2 minutes of my 5 minutes to the Senator from Oklahoma.

Here we are again, a bill that is 1,221 pages long that not one Member of this body has read. These 1,221 pages represent $915 billion in taxpayer money. Yet here we are with not one amendment. We do, however, have 15 minutes of debate in which to consider a document that is 1,221 pages long, representing $915 billion of taxpayer money, which is filled with unauthorized, unrequested money.

Now, I haven't had a chance, like the rest of my colleagues, to look at all of this 1,200-page bill, but we have looked at the defense section. There is $3.5 billion of unrequested, unauthorized funding by the authorizing committee--projects such as this one for Guam.

Here are a couple of my favorites. You thought the bridge to nowhere was bad? Well, there are 53 civilian schoolbuses and 53 repair kits for $10.7 million and $12.7 million for a cultural artifacts repository. That is in the name of defense. That is in the name of defense--schoolbuses and a cultural artifact repository.

Here is $100 million for the Next Generation Bomber, which the Air Force says they do not want and they do not need. How about this cockamamie outfit--the Combat Dragon, which will be crop dusters equipped with weapons. Or the C-17s--$225 million additional for C-17s that long ago the military said they did not need.

There is $3.5 billion just in the DOD provisions alone. It is outrageous. It is outrageous.

I have amendments associated with this bill that will save the taxpayers billions of dollars. But, never mind, because we are going to go home for Christmas.

Well, let me tell you, I am going home to a State where they do not have enough in the food banks to take care of the homeless this year. I am going home to a State where half of the homes are underwater. Yet what have we done? We have just wasted billions and billions and billions of taxpayer money on projects that are unneeded, unwanted, and unrequested.

This system is broken. This system is broken. We should have taken up these bills one by one, with amendments, with debate and discussion. I want to tell the majority leader and the Republican leader that next year, we will have a plan, a group of us, to say we must do that.

We owe it to the taxpayers of America.

I yield to the Senator from Oklahoma.

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