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Mr. LATHAM. I thank the gentlewoman from North Carolina for yielding time.
I am very pleased to speak in favor of the rule on H.R. 5972, the fiscal year 2013 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development appropriations bill.
I want to thank the chairman and ranking member of the Rules Committee for their assistance in moving this important bill forward. I also want to thank Chairman Rogers and Ranking Member Dicks for their commitment to moving appropriations bills through the House so that we can fund America's priorities while demonstrating the committee's proven record of cutting waste, fraud, and abuse.
In particular, I want to thank THUD Ranking Member John Olver for his assistance in crafting this legislation. This is his last THUD bill before retiring at the end of this year.
The Transportation and HUD bill represents responsible choices for our Nation's most pressing housing and transportation needs. This bill's allocation of $51.6 billion is almost $4 billion below fiscal year
2012 and is almost $2 billion below the President's request. The bill also reflects the budget resolution passed by the House.
The bill is largely free of authorizations, leaving that important work to the Transportation and Infrastructure and Financial Services Committees. As the amendments to the THUD bill are rolling in, we are seeing a very familiar theme--authorizing provisions. There are a multitude of issues, especially in the transportation title and the housing title, that very desperately needed to be considered and acted upon by the authorizing committees of jurisdiction. A number of Members have good ideas for improving these programs, and the authorizers need to have the opportunity to turn these ideas into law.
The Appropriations Committee can only deal with existing law, so I would urge my colleagues with amendments that are out of order to please bring these issues to the relevant chairmen, and let's improve the underlying statutes. We can't make these authorizing changes on this appropriations bill.
I urge my colleagues to support the rule. I look forward to the general debate on the Transportation and HUD bill and to a very speedy amendment process.
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