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Continuing Appropriations Resolution, 2013

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. VISCLOSKY. I thank the gentleman for yielding.

I rise today to express my great appreciation for the tireless efforts Chairman Rogers and Ranking Member Dicks have expended in this Congress and this fiscal year. They, the other committee Members, and the committee staff have applied their expertise and a tremendous amount of energy and effort in their attempt to return the appropriations process to the regular order. To their credit, Chairman Rogers and Mr. Dicks have allowed this body to pass more than a majority of our bills.

While I support the continuing resolution, I am abjectly disappointed that the Congress is, once again, going to fail at one of its most fundamental responsibilities. We are all elected to make discrete decisions about Federal programs. By being unable or unwilling to pass individually negotiated appropriation bills, we are doing a great disservice to our constituents and to our country by not providing the guidance necessary for Federal programs to operate effectively.

As the ranking member of the Energy and Water Subcommittee, I would like to highlight the National Nuclear Security Administration as an example of where this CR does not provide the necessary oversight for good government. The agency is plagued by dramatic cost increases on nearly every major task under its jurisdiction. The poster child of this inability to accurately estimate cost is the Life Extension Program for the B-61 bomb, the pricetag of which has gone from $4 to $10 billion.

And I would also be remiss if I did not mention my disappointment that an anomaly for the United States Enrichment Cooperation is included in the CR. The government has subsidized this company for far too long, and we shouldn't continue to throw good money after bad. I believe that the national security arguments for this program are inconsistent and unpersuasive, and while USEC may have a pressing need for a bailout, there is no immediate defense requirement.

In closing, I do support the CR because it is timely and bipartisan, but we need to break the habit of perpetually kicking every hard decision and deadline down the road.

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