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Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2014

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. BROUN of Georgia. Mr. Chairman, the bill before us today cuts significant amounts from a number of programs which I have traditionally targeted for spending reductions.

Now, I commend my friends, the full committee chairman, Hal Rogers, and the subcommittee chairman, also a good friend, Mr. Frelinghuysen, for these cuts, and I congratulate them on such.

That being said, we're at a time of a real fiscal emergency. Congress has allowed the sequester to happen, and we can see some of the effects of the sequester in this underlying bill. I opposed the use of the sequester from the get-go because I believe that governmentwide, across-the-board cuts are not a wise way of cutting spending. I believe that it's bad policy.

Instead of furloughing civilian DOD employees and cutting our military, we ought to make targeted cuts where there's room to do so. This amendment, Mr. Chairman, would do just that. It would trim just a small additional 1 percent, or about $9.8 million, from programs relating to renewable energy and energy efficiency, and put that amount toward spending reduction.

The committee report for the underlying bill notes that funding for these programs prioritizes reducing gas prices and supporting American manufacturing. And absolutely, we must be doing those things. Yet, these funds are focused on technologies which are still emerging, like new vehicle technology, hydrogen and fuel cell technology, and bio-energy.

Mr. Chairman, I'm not arguing that these technologies aren't worth studying. What I'm suggesting is that we--and I'm not suggesting that we completely defund them. I'm suggesting we make a mere 1 percent cut towards the proposed spending level.

What I'm saying is that we make this small additional cut and work towards getting our fiscal house in order before pouring scarce funding into new, unproven technology.

I urge support of my amendment, and I yield back the balance of my time.

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Mr. BROUN of Georgia. This amendment would reduce the appropriations that are suggested for the energy programs relating to renewable energy, energy reliability, and efficiency by $4.751 million and increase the spending reduction account by that same amount. It is meant to eliminate the committee-recommended increase to funding for facilities and infrastructure under this section of the bill.

Mr. Chairman, we must do everything that we can to rein in spending. We're facing an economic emergency as a Nation. My friends, particularly on the other side, seem to not face the fact that we're headed for an economic meltdown if we don't stop this uncontrolled spending that I believe is irresponsible.

My amendment is not a cut to funding, but to simply eliminate a proposed increase, keeping the appropriated amount at the current level we have right now today.

I believe this is a commonsense amendment, I urge my colleagues to support it, and I yield back the balance of my time.

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