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Providing for Consideration of H.R. 1231, Reversing President Obama's Offshore Moratorium Act

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. DREIER. Mr. Speaker, let me begin by thanking my friend, the newest member of the Rules Committee, the gentleman from Corning, New York, for a superb job in the way he has comported himself in the management of this rule and for his great service on the Rules Committee. He has literally hit the ground running, and this is the third bill that he's managed, the second rule, on the House floor, and I congratulate him for that.

Mr. Speaker, I listened to the comments of my friend from Worcester, and I will say that this measure that's before us is about several things. Number one, job creation and economic growth is something that Democrats and Republicans alike say that they are concerned about; and that happens to be, continues to be, our priority.

Creating jobs for the American people who are hurting right now is what this bill is all about and, at the same time, the notion of trying to free ourselves or at least diminish the kind of dependence that we have on foreign oil. I don't personally believe that we ever in this global economy should be completely free of the flow of energy and other sources, but I do believe that we can take steps that will diminish the level of dependence that we have on sources of energy outside of our country. And that's what this measure is designed to do.

I also want to touch on the very important question that was raised by my friend about the issue of subsidization by the American taxpayer of the energy industry. And I know that my friend likes to say, well, the Rules Committee can just take care of this in one fell swoop and make this amendment in order. And it was very interesting that our colleague from Boulder said that if it were to be considered under an open rule, he'd like to allow for consideration of a measure that would reduce the top corporate rate as we look at the issue of ending this kind of subsidization.

Well, that is a global approach that I believe needs to be looked at by the House Ways and Means Committee, by the Energy and Commerce Committee; and I'm supportive, I'm very supportive, of our doing that. But the idea of saying that we would do what my friend has proposed, actually under the provision that my friend from Boulder said that he'd support up in the Rules Committee, it's a violation of House rules.

So the idea here is we need to do what we can to diminish the level of subsidization. I personally have opposed agriculture subsidization. I'm not a proponent of subsidization of private industry. I do think that in the context of having the highest corporate tax rate of any nation in the world now that Japan has actually reduced their corporate rate, we need to look at ways in which we can bring that rate down and deal with closing loopholes. And that's something that President Obama talked about here in his State of the Union message.

So I think that if my friend would recognize that we've had opportunities to do this when they were in the majority, and we've been in session for a matter of a few months, and the idea of saying that we haven't addressed it yet on the House floor, I think, doesn't really pass the laugh test because we are right now in the process of looking at overall reform, and it will include dealing with the issue of subsidies. So I agree wholeheartedly with the need for us to step up to the plate and take this issue on.

I want to express my appreciation to the distinguished chair of the Natural Resources Committee, our friend Mr. Hastings. Unfortunately, due to an illness, he's not able to be here this week, but I spoke with him yesterday and he's doing a lot better. And he has every degree of confidence, a high level of confidence, that we're going to be able to effectively address this issue of working to drive energy prices down; to diminish the kind of dependence we have on foreign sources of energy; and the very, very important issue of creating jobs here in the United States of America, which continues to be our priority.

So I thank my friend for yielding. I encourage my colleagues to support this rule and support the underlying legislation.

And I'm happy to say that we've been able to make almost all of the amendments in order that were submitted to us as long as they comply with the rules of the House. The CutGo provision is germane. We've tried to make most of those in order, and it's a new day. We've had more amendments considered here in the first few months of this Congress than we did in the entire last Congress. So I think that this work product that we're going to have before us today is further evidence of that.


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