Continuing Appropriations Resolution, 2013

Floor Speech

By:  Bill Young
Date: Sept. 13, 2012
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. YOUNG of Florida. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Mr. Speaker, I use this time to rise to present the Defense appropriations bill for fiscal year 2013, and that's what I had planned to do. But then, all of a sudden, I realized I already did that 2 months ago; and the House, in a strong, bipartisan vote of more than 330 votes passed this good bill that Mr. Dicks and I had worked so long and hard to prepare and to present. We were really excited about getting to the Senate and having the Senate make their mark and then go to conference and get this bill on the law books.

It's important that our national defense and the members of our military have some certainty in what they're going to be able to do in the next fiscal year. But that was not to be. We were rolling along with that bill, and we had passed seven other appropriations bills, thanks to Mr. Rogers getting us back to regular order. His committee had already voted out all but one of the appropriations bills. We had passed seven in the House before we got the message. The Senate leader said the Senate will pass no appropriations bills this year. There's something wrong with that.

I'd like to read the Constitution, and I recommend it. It's good reading.

Article I, section 9, says, ``No money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in consequence of appropriations made by law.'' That's what it means to pass these appropriations bills.

The end of the fiscal year is only a few weeks away. This Constitution would come into play. The government would have no money to function. Portions of the government would have to be closed down. You've heard it referred to, a government shutdown. We're going to have to pass this CR because we don't want a government shutdown.

The Defense appropriations bill was a very good bill. It was a bipartisan bill. There were some great initiatives that we had included and the House supported in that bill. We got to keep two of those initiatives as anomalies, and that's all.

So it's important that as soon as the Congress reconvenes, when it does, we get back to this Defense appropriations bill and pass it for sure.

One of the anomalies had to do with prohibiting the Air Force from undertaking any of the new aircraft retirements or relocations of aircraft and associated missions that were identified in their fiscal year 2013 budget request. That needs to be in here. This affects all of our States. All of our Governors, all of our adjutant generals weighed in on this issue. We did get that, as an anomaly, in the bill.

But we need to get to work on this Defense appropriations bill as soon as we possibly can and get it into law so that our military, the members of our military, the men and women who wear the uniform, those at the Pentagon who do the management, who do the planning, they have to know what it is they're going to be able to do, what money will they have available. And then they're facing sequestration, which also has to be avoided somehow, one way or another.

But when the Constitution is ignored--which is happening with our brothers and sisters in the other body--things don't work right, and we've got to get them right. In the lame-duck session, we have got to take care of these problems and get to work on this Defense appropriations bill. We've got to find some way to persuade those who serve in the other body. If their leadership doesn't want to do it, there are ways to apply pressure to the leadership to get the job done that the Constitution requires.

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