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Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2012

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. BROUN of Georgia. Mr. Chairman, I was listening to the previous speaker's arguments, and I'm glad to hear that he's concerned about the U.S. Navy's energy supplies, and I was going to ask him, if he had been kind enough to yield to me, whether he was in favor of us starting to develop our own energy resources here in the United States.

We've got a tremendous amount of energy that our Creator has given us here in this country off the northern coast of Alaska, in the Western United States, in the gulf coast, and certainly, I would like to see the oil prices drop. The best way to get those oil prices to come down to a reasonable level is for us to start developing our own energy resources here in this country. Certainly, our oil and natural gas resources need to be developed, clean coal energy, alternative sources of energy, nuclear energy, all these other things.

And I just hear all this pontification from my colleagues on the other side about the CFTC and the oil speculators. The best way to make the oil speculators lose money, which they would do when they increase the prices of oil by speculating on future prices, is by producing more oil here in this country. We've got a tremendous amount of uncertainty with all the things that are going on in the Middle East today, and that causes speculators to think the price of oil is going up.

Now, I'm not one who's here arguing for the speculators by any means. I believe in the marketplace. I believe that the marketplace, unencumbered by government regulations and taxes, is the best way to control quality, quantity, and cost of all goods and services, including oil. And the best way to do that is to lower the cost of oil here in this country, natural gas and all of our energy supplies for the U.S. Navy as well as for the Federal Government and for everybody, to lower the cost of gasoline at the pump. It's best to develop our own natural resources, our God-given resources that are plentiful in this country.

But I have seen in, now, three Congresses that I have been here my Democrat colleagues block every effort that we have made to develop our own resources. I never will forget in 2008, while we were coming during the August break and talking about the Republicans' all-of-the-above energy policy, that a Democratic staffer said that the Democrat Party's energy policy was drive a small car and wait for the wind. That's not an energy policy.

We need to develop the God-given resources that we have here in this country, to lower the cost of gas at the pumps, to lower the cost of heating oil, particularly for our elderly citizens and poorest people across this Nation that this winter are going to be suffering, suffering tremendously economically because of the high cost of oil.

It's not the speculators and the CFTC that's going to do that. Drilling for oil and natural gas and developing our own natural resources here in this country is going to be the solution. And I just encourage my Democratic colleagues to join with me and others here on our side, let's develop these resources, not just talk about the CFTC, not just talk about more regulations on the marketplace, because the more regulation we put on the marketplace, the higher the cost goes. So let's get the regulatory burden off of the energy sector so that we can start developing our own God-given resources here in this country.

So, if the gentleman had been kind enough to yield, I would have asked him and congratulate him on being concerned about our U.S. Navy and how much extra they're paying for oil, for all the energy sources that our military has to spend. We've got to stop this outrageous spending that the Federal Government's been doing, and the way to do that is lower the cost of energy here and that will help everybody.

I yield back the balance of my time.


Mr. BROUN of Georgia. This amendment simply reduces by 10 percent the account for Agriculture Buildings and Facilities and Rental Payments.

My friend from Indiana (Mr. Burton) and I have partnered to bring this commonsense amendment before the House, and I would like to thank him and his staff for all their hard work.

Mr. Chairman, we are in an economic and fiscal emergency. The Federal Government spends too much money. It is irresponsible and immoral to keep spending beyond our means. Not only do we need to reduce our deficit, but we need to begin to make an impact on eliminating the huge debt that has been accumulating over the last few years.

I greatly appreciate the effort and the difficult decisions the Appropriations Committee must make. That said, we must continue to make meaningful cuts to show the American people and the President that we are serious about controlling spending and serious about the future of our Nation.

I urge my colleagues to support this commonsense amendment. Let's show the American people that we are serious about controlling spending and stopping the outrageous spending that has been going on here in Washington under Democrat as well as Republican leadership. I encourage a ``yes'' vote on this amendment.

I yield back the balance of my time.


Mr. BROUN of Georgia. Madam Chairman, I rise to offer my amendment that would reduce the budget for the USDA's Economic Research Service by $7 million. We don't know what's going to happen with the previous amendment, but whether it passes or fails, this would cut another $7 million. It's just a modest 10 percent that would help end some of the duplicative research the USDA is currently conducting.

For example, the USDA has four separate services that conduct research, as Mr. Chaffetz has already spoken about here on the floor. All four of these entities have numerous overlapping issues, and it would be more fiscally responsible to simply consolidate them, and I wish we had done so.

The American people have demanded that we cut the outrageous spending that's going on here in Washington, and we must cut the spending in every corner of the budget possible. They deserve our very best efforts in being good stewards of their tax dollars. I urge my colleagues to support my amendment.

I yield back the balance of my time.


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