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Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2007

Location: Washington, DC



Mr. GARRETT of New Jersey. Mr. Chairman, I will not use my entire 5 minutes.

This is an amendment on an appropriations bill that we have seen in some other ones that have passed previously, and it goes to the issue of how we have addressed over the last couple of days spending.

Regardless of which side of the aisle that you may come from, I think Members from both sides of the aisle will agree with one thing, and that is that our deficits are too high. When we are spending our taxpayers' dollars, we must be ever vigilant to be sure we are spending them wisely. Again, this amendment is a commonsense limitation on those hard-earned tax dollars.


Mr. GARRETT of New Jersey. Reclaiming my time, I thank the chairman for his comments, and I will then conclude my remarks simply by saying that this is an issue that has already been addressed in the Senate, somewhat extensively, pointing out the egregious examples in the past where extraordinary numbers of Federal employees have gone on international conferences.

So what the amendment simply does, at the end of the day, is put a finite number on that. In this bill it limits it down to 50 conferees to attend any international conference. We believe that is a reasonable number. We believe that any agency will be able to live within those numbers, and again I appreciate the chairman's acceptance of this amendment.


Mr. GARRETT of New Jersey. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

I rise again this afternoon for what I believe is a commonsense and important amendment to the legislation before us; commonsense simply because at the end of the day all the amendment does is to say we should be enforcing the current law.

As it stands right now, 8 U.S.A., section 1183, states that an affidavit must be filed by a sponsor of an incoming alien to the country. That affidavit is a legally binding guarantee on the part of the sponsor that the immigrant that they are sponsoring will not become a ``public charge.'' What I am citing here is nothing new. This public charge requirement goes all the way back to immigration policy of the 1880s.

So what this amendment does today is simply restate that in strong terms saying that no funds appropriated under this act, under the Food Stamp Program, will be spent in noncompliance of current Federal law. The reason we do this is to reinforce the fact that the laws on the books should be enforced.

And, secondly, it addresses another point as well. Some people might argue that there is not enough money in the Food Stamp Program for all of the needs that are out there, and we can debate that from one side to the other. But if you honestly believe that there isn't enough money out there for the entire Food Stamp Program, I think we all agree from both sides of the aisle that the money in the program should be going to the people that it was intended for in compliance with the statute and in compliance with current law.

So on that, I will conclude by saying we are asking nothing more than the Food Stamp Program currently in existence today comply with the laws set forth.


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