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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. MULVANEY. When I was campaigning for this job 2 years ago, one of the things that I told folks back home I would do if I ever got here was to try and roll back discretionary spending to 2008 levels. One of the things I've done since I've been here is work on the Republican Study Committee budgets--we've done two of them now--which try and make an effort to really get our spending addiction under control and lower our deficits and balance our budget in a reasonable amount of time.

As encouraging as this bill is and as much work as the Committee has done on this particular bill, it doesn't accomplish those things. That's why I'm here. I also draw attention to the fact that this bill, as much as an improvement as it has made over previous bills, still spends more money than we did last year.

The amendment, Mr. Chairman, is fairly simple. I seek to cut $3.1 billion from this expenditure. That represents 9 1/2 , roughly 10 percent of the overall bill. However, it only represents about one-half of 1 percent of all the discretionary spending. We're spending over a trillion dollars in the discretionary budget this year. More importantly--and what I think the folks back home would like to know--is that it's only one-sixth of 1 percent of the overall Federal expenditures. It's only one penny out of every $6 that we spend. It is our effort to try and bring some sanity to the spending side of the equation. It is not an across-the-board cut.

We have tried, Mr. Chairman, to be smart and sensible where we've cut these funds, and for that reason we do not cut the U.S. Army Corps of Engineer accounts. We do not cut the NNSA accounts. We do not cut the environmental and other defense activities, non-defense, environmental, nuclear waste disposal, Nuclear Regulatory Commission. What we've cut, Mr. Chairman, are things that need to be cut.

We've cut Federal research on energy efficiency and renewable energy. We propose to cut fossil energy research and development. Yes, a Republican is actually here, Mr. Chairman, arguing that we should get rid of what my colleagues across the aisle would call subsidies for Big Oil. We're trying to get rid of all the subsidies. Imagine that, a world where the Federal Government doesn't actually subsidize energy production in any fashion, but the market takes care of the supply, the demand, and the prices for those products.

We also cut spending on the Appalachian Regional Commission, the Delta Regional Authority Commission, the Denali Commission, the Northern Border Regional Commission, and the Southeast Crescent Regional Commission. Yes, sir, some of those probably are in my district, but goodness gracious, we probably have enough commissions in this government already.

Mr. Chairman, this is a reasoned and a sensible approach to try and cut as much spending as we possibly can, especially in light of today's CBO report that says the debt situation, the debt difficulties that we face are even worse than we've been talking about for the last 18 months in this Congress. For that reason, Mr. Chairman, I ask for support for this amendment, and I ask that my colleagues vote ``yea.''

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Mr. MULVANEY. Very briefly, Mr. Chairman, I appreciate the gentleman from Indiana's words. I would point out to him, Mr. Chairman, that there are those of us on this side of the aisle that have encouraged us to look at defense spending as ways to cut not just a penny, but to find significant savings.

I'd be curious to know, Mr. Chairman, how the gentleman from Indiana voted last year on my amendment to do exactly that, to freeze military spending at 2011 levels, but that is a discussion for another day.

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