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Public Statements

Cutting Federal Unnecessary and Expensive Leasing Act of 2012

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mrs. MALONEY. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

I rise in opposition to H.R. 6324, the Cutting FUEL Act. This bill is being rushed to the floor without any hearings or considerations by the Oversight and Government Reform Committee. The result is a poorly drafted bill that may have harmful, unintended consequences. This bill would require all Federal agencies to reduce their purchases and leases of vehicles by 20 percent, below 2010 expenditure levels. This reduction would not apply to military vehicles, and an exception is provided for vehicles necessary for national security purposes.

While my colleagues' goal is to cut government spending and force agencies to spend their money more efficiently, this bill is not the way to achieve those objectives. This bill does not take into account agencies that have already decreased their fleet sizes by improving fleet management procedures. According to a recent GAO report, agencies such as the Air Force have implemented various fleet downsizing policies and have made efforts to eliminate vehicles that are not mission critical. Instead of examining the needs of each individual agency, this bill simply makes a sweeping 20 percent cut applicable to all agencies regardless of whether they have already made significant improvements.

The GAO also noted that some agencies, like the Department of Veterans Affairs, have increased their fleet sizes due to expanded programs essential to assisting our disabled veterans. This bill would prevent agencies, such as the VA, from effectively serving our veterans when they return home from war.

Mr. Speaker, we come to the House floor only to bring up legislation that was recently introduced in August. There have been no hearings in committee, no amendments, no markups, no substantive debate, all of which could have made significant improvements to the bill.

The American people are asking their elected officials to be bipartisan and pass legislation to add more jobs to our economy. We should focus on extending the tax cuts for the middle class, or passing legislation to resolve the looming crisis in the postal service. But, no, the Republican majority and their leadership would rather focus on passing messaging bills before the election. They prefer to leave Washington and campaign, rather than take up the real issues that confront our country.

Mr. Speaker, I urge my colleagues to oppose this legislation, and I ask that we get back to doing the work of the people.

With that, I reserve the balance of my time.

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Mrs. MALONEY. I have no additional speakers and yield myself such time as I may consume.

I do want to stress that we should not be adjourning. We should continue to work and try to do things to preserve Medicare. This Congress has voted to end Medicare as we know it, to turn it into a voucher system.

And we need to extend the middle class tax breaks, and jobs--the President's jobs bill. Many of my colleagues on both sides of the aisle, Republican and Democratic, have come forward with jobs bills that we could consider on passing and working.

I must say they are very urgent priorities, and the American people are calling my office, and I'm sure all of my colleagues, concerning the farm bill. We need to pass a farm bill.

The Violence Against Women Act, this used to be bipartisan legislation. It was introduced as bipartisan legislation. Yet, in this Congress, people have voted to repeal some of the protections, and we have not been able to have a consensus on what has historically been a consensus issue.

On the war on women, I am issuing a report today that shows that the Republican majority is not only out of step with the Main Street of America and the Democratic majority, but they are out of step with the historic Republican Party. The historic Republican Party--in fact, I'll give one example: title X. George H.W. Bush was the author of title X when it passed, and it was signed by a Republican President. This Congress voted to defund title X--family planning, birth control. This is unprecedented.

So there are many things that we need to address. I would say specifically the farm bill and the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act. This should be an area where we could all agree and come together. I urge my colleagues not only to vote against this particular bill, but also to speak to their leadership on the other side of the aisle that these pressing issues should be taken up and should be addressed.

Mr. Speaker, I have no additional speakers, and I yield back the balance of my time.

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