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Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2013

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. SCALISE. Mr. Chairman, I appreciate the opportunity to present this amendment.

What we're doing is we're transferring $10 million from the Department of Energy salary and expenses account over the Corps of Engineers' construction account. The reason this is critical is because it allows us to move forward on infrastructure improvements, including in Louisiana something that we've been trying to do to restore our coast and get moving on the Louisiana coastal area, which is one of many projects in the Corps' budget that is backlogged and not funded, and yet is critical for improving infrastructure, for creating jobs, and for doing things to protect our wetlands.

Mr. Chairman, I bring this football because in Louisiana we lose one football field of land every hour along the gulf coast in Louisiana due to coastal erosion. We have a plan that we put forth. Governor Bobby Jindal and his team have a solid plan in place that they've moved forward on. Mr. Chair, this is an authorized program. We're just trying to make sure that this program can move forward like so many others across the country that would improve our waterways and would strengthen our coastlines.

You've got salaries that are being funded for projects now. And if you look at the Department of Energy, we've actually cut back on a lot of the work that they do at the Department of Energy. Rightfully so. They are eliminating programs that are unnecessary, and yet their salaries still continue to go up.

You know, we ask people to do more with less. In this case, they're doing less with more, and so we're moving money out of a salaries account for people that are doing less work and moving it into actually doing coastal projects, actually doing work that improves our coasts and strengthens the area, protects the vital infrastructure for the oil and gas industry that feeds this Nation's energy needs and the seafood that feeds this Nation's great taste for great things like shrimp and oysters and crabs.

This is a bipartisan amendment, and I want to thank the gentleman from Louisiana (Mr. Richmond) for helping us with this amendment.

I yield to the gentleman from Louisiana (Mr. Richmond).

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Mr. SCALISE. I thank my colleague from Louisiana for his comments, and I just urge all of our colleagues to vote for this amendment so that we can actually use money to do real projects instead of to fund the bureaucracy of Washington. Especially when we're actually reducing the workload that they have to do, let's actually shift that money over to an area where we can actually increase jobs, protect our Nation, protect our energy and infrastructure that benefits the entire country.

With that, I would urge passage of this amendment.

I yield back the balance of my time.

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