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Department of Defense, Military Construction and Veterans Affairs, and Full-Year Continuing Appropriations Act, 2013

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Ms. KAPTUR. I thank Ranking Member Lowey.

Mr. Speaker, I rise to express my appreciation that we are considering this continuing resolution today and not on the precipice of another government shutdown. Chairman Rogers and Ranking Member Lowey have been tireless in their efforts to bring a semblance of regular order to the appropriations process and, in turn, this House.

However, I must express my disappointment that we are not advancing a government-wide, fully inclusive bill with adjustments that address the pressing needs of the American people across all Federal departments and agencies. Despite my appreciation for consideration of this bill, by being unable and unwilling to pass all our individually negotiated appropriation bills, the Congress is doing a great disservice to the American people and not providing the firm guidance necessary for Federal programs to operate effectively.

As ranking member of the Energy and Water Subcommittee, I would like to express my disappointment further that necessary adjustments to two-thirds of our jurisdiction are not included. For example, important areas of cybersecurity, as well as reducing the local cost share for the Army Corps projects related to the revitalization after Hurricane Sandy, are missing.

Further, adjustments to the Weatherization Assistance Program are not included. This vital program is facing significant funding challenges given many States are either out of Federal funds entirely or will be out of all Federal funds. In order for the program to continue to deliver services as blizzards blanket this country, and for low-income Americans to continue to receive the energy savings from this program for their homes, an increase in program support is necessary and would be a real job creator across this country.

Further, the bill does not include the administration's request to increase funding for the Advanced Manufacturing program for our Nation to meet the fierce global competition for manufacturing jobs. The United States must regain its position in global manufacturing. We cannot prosper as a Nation of service providers only.

I would like to highlight the National Nuclear Security Administration as an example of where a CR does not provide the necessary oversight for good government.

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Ms. KAPTUR. I thank the gentlelady.

The agency is plagued by dramatic cost increases on nearly every major task under its jurisdiction. Given the nature of a continuing resolution, the Congress is unable to meaningfully weigh in on important issues such as these. I do appreciate inclusion of support for the United States Enrichment Corporation.

In closing, while I am disappointed in the bill's shortcomings, I am hopeful that collectively Congress can improve upon this bill as it moves to the other body.

Again, I commend our chairman, Mr. Rogers, and Ranking Member Nita Lowey of New York, such a phenomenal leader.

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