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Hearing of the House Administration Committee - Review of the Use of Committee Funds of the 112th Congress


Location: Unknown

Chairman Lungren, Ranking Member Brady and Members of the Committee, thank you for the
opportunity to testify on the Judiciary Committee's budget for the Second Session of the 112th Congress.

In this economy all Americans are forced to tighten their belts and do more with less. In recognition of that,
earlier this year Ranking Member Conyers and I requested a budget cut of five percent below the funding
for the 111th Congress. Now we are being asked to accept a further funding cut of 6.4 percent.

In the 112th Congress, so far the Judiciary Committee has sent more bills to the House floor than any other committee in Congress.

Among the important issues the Committee continues to consider are ensuring that federal law enforcement agencies have the necessary tools to prevent terrorist attacks; that America's borders are
secure; that our nation's children are safe from sexual predators; and that the administration of justice is fair
and efficient within both the Justice Department and federal law enforcement agencies and within our federal judiciary.

In addition, the Committee plays an important role in strengthening our economy and putting Americans
back to work. We ensure robust and fair competition under the antitrust laws, promote America's global
competitiveness through our intellectual property laws, improve our immigration laws to attract the best and
brightest from around the world and bolster the business climate by reining in burdensome and
unnecessary regulations.

During the first year of this Congress, the Committee worked to enact a historic patent reform bill that will make our economy much more productive by speeding up the issuance of patents and improving the
quality of those patents. New jobs should follow as a result. This bill is the first major revision of the patent
system in 60 years and is the result of a project started several years ago.

In the next two weeks, the House is considering three significant regulatory reform bills reported by the
Judiciary Committee to update a system designed in the 1940's for an industrial society and make it more
responsive in today's global information society.

All of these issues are critical to the safety and well being of millions of Americans.

Because of this, it is vital that we retain a highly qualified staff as the cornerstone of the Committee's
capacity to consider complicated and often controversial legislation and policy issues that fall within its jurisdiction.

To attract and retain quality staff, the Committee must be able to offer compensation that is at least somewhat competitive with the private sector.

This is particularly challenging when a disproportionate number of committee staff are attorneys with substantial public policy expertise who could command higher salaries from the private sector.

Although I would rather not see the Committee budget cut for a second year in a row, I support our
Leadership and this Committee's decision to reduce our budget by 6.4 percent in the coming year. I will do what is necessary to ensure that the Judiciary Committee is even more productive while operating with less.

I yield back the balance of my time.

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