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Public Statements

Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act, 2013

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. LoBIONDO. Mr. Chairman, I rise today in very strong support of H.R. 5855.

Earlier this year, the President requested to cut funding for the Coast Guard more than 4 percent below the current level. This was the first time in over a decade that a President has proposed to reduce funding for the Coast Guard. In his budget, the President proposed to slash the number of servicemembers by more than 1,000, which would shutter recruiting stations, take recently upgraded helicopters out of service and exacerbate the growing patrol boat mission-hour gap by retiring vessels before their replacements arrive.

For acquisitions, the President proposed to slash the budget by more than $270 million, or 19 percent below the FY2012 enacted level. The request proposed to terminate or delay the acquisition of several critically needed replacement assets and eliminate funding to renovate derelict housing for servicemembers and their dependents.

The cuts put forth by the Obama administration were simply unacceptable and I myself and, I think, a large number of Members were gravely concerned. As chairman of the Coast Guard's authorizing committee, I know how critical it is for us not to repeat the mistakes of the 1990s when misguided cuts to the service's operating and acquisitions budget left it entirely unprepared to meet the post-9/11 mission demand.

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Mr. LoBIONDO. Fortunately, the bill before us today rejects the draconian cuts proposed by the President and ensures the Coast Guard is provided with the resources needed to carry out its critical missions. I want to especially thank Chairman Aderholt, Ranking Member Price, and their entire staff for recognizing the critical mission needs of the Coast Guard and accommodating those needs for the protection of America.

I urge all Members to support the legislation.

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