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Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2014

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. WOODALL. I also want to thank the gentleman from California and the gentleman from Colorado for their enthusiasm about this important project. The amendment that my colleague from California is bringing forward is modest in scope. I'll say to my colleagues who want to see spending reduced, we're talking about the difference between an 81 percent cut, as is in the chairman's mark today, to a 74 percent cut, if we add this $20 million back in. It's a modest number, but it's an important number because the committee could only do what the committee could do. And I thank the gentleman from New Jersey, the chairman. I know he is committed to this research.

I hate to hear folks describe the commitment to advancement, Mr. Chairman, the commitment to next-generation technologies as a Republican or a Democrat commitment. I think it's an American commitment. It's certainly a House commitment, and it's one that the chairman and the ranking member tried their best within their allocations to satisfy.

What are you going to take the money away from, Mr. Chairman? Look at what we're dealing with in this appropriations bill. We're talking about nuclear security. We're talking about environmental cleanup. We're talking about uranium enrichment, decontamination, and decommissioning. The choices we have here are tough choices. And the amendment that's before us now, knowing that we want to put the money where it's going to do the most good, says let's take the money out of administration. That's not to say that there doesn't have to be administration. That's not to say phones don't have to be answered and electricity doesn't have to be turned on. But when you have to make tough choices, the one that the gentleman from California is asking us to make today is: Are we going to invest in the bureaucracy or are we going to invest in that opportunity to make tomorrow so much more different than today?

If my colleagues haven't had a chance, look at those project teams like the one my colleague from Colorado mentioned and what they are researching. Mr. Chairman, I come from coal-burning country. And the work that ARPA-E is doing on carbon sequestration could change the debate about American energy independence forever.

ARPA-E isn't working on what is going to happen tomorrow. They're working on what's going to happen in the next generation; what is it going to be that changes the debate forever. Those are the kinds of ideas that this $21 million will support.

Mr. Chairman, it's the commitment to fundamental research, the commitment to game-changing ideas that is a bipartisan commitment. It's one that goes from coast-to-coast, from north to south, and on both sides of the aisle.

Again, I'm grateful to the gentlelady from Ohio and the chairman from New Jersey for all they have done to try to support these accounts. It is my great hope that my colleagues here in the House will support the gentleman from California's amendment and we'll get this $20 million plus-up.

I yield back the balance of my time.


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