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Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies Appropriation Act, 2013

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. BOSWELL. Mr. Speaker, I want to say, at the onset, that this, again, is perhaps considered the final amendment to the bill, will not kill the bill. If we pass it, it will send it back to committee. If not, the bill will immediately proceed to final passage, as amended.

What this amendment will do is provide $31 million in increased resources for disaster flood protections, as well as $1 million in targeted resources towards nonmilitary energy cooperation assistance with our closest ally in the Middle East, and one of the closest allies across the globe that we have, Israel.

I've noticed, and I've said before, and I think I'll say it again, for more than a year I've waited patiently for the majority to stop the slash-and-burn legislation and revitalize the Nation and empower employers to create jobs. Well, we're still waiting on those millionaire job creators to show us the jobs, and we're still waiting for the majority to pass an actual jobs bill.

But while we sit here and wait, Mother Nature does not. In fact, Mother Nature waits for no one. Mother Nature did not wait for the majority to pass a bill to send massive amounts of snow and rain to parts of Montana, triggering the Missouri River flood of 2011, leaving homes, businesses, farms, and towns devastated.

Mother Nature did not wait for the majority to pass the jobs bill to send Hurricane Irene barreling across the Eastern Seaboard, causing billions of dollars in damage.

The additional $31 million in funding that my amendment provides for funds planning, training, and other measures that ensure the readiness of the Corps of Engineers to respond to floods, hurricanes, and other natural disasters, and to support emergency operations in response to such disasters, including but not limited to advance measures, flood fighting, and emergency operations.

These additional resources may not seem significant to some people, but to the family farm that is saved because of adequate farm protection relief, or to the small business which is saved, or to the family home that's saved, or the community that is saved, these additional resources are not only significant, but they can mean the difference between living a dream or living in desolation. But these additional resources of flood protection are only but one reason why you should support this amendment.

Another reason that you should support this amendment is that, in supporting this amendment, you vote to support greater cooperation efforts on energy efficiency and renewable energy with Israel.

Israel is our strongest ally in the Middle East, without question, and one of our strongest allies across the globe. And, as such, our ability to work together to advance the interests of both our nations is crucial. One area where I believe we can work even closer together is the realm of energy efficiency and renewable energy.

Coming from my State of Iowa, I know a little bit about renewable energy. Iowa is a national leader in the production of wind power, biodiesel, ethanol, and we take great pride in our ability to advance technology that leads to cleaner, more sustainable energy production.

However, in order to reduce our reliance on foreign oil, we must take an all-of-the-above approach to energy, including greater domestic production of fossil fuels, and yes, renewable, clean green sources of energy. With greater cooperation with our ally, Israel, we can advance the energy security needs of both of our nations, which are vital to greater economic prosperity and growth for years to come.

So therefore, I urge, Mr. Speaker, all my colleagues to vote ``yes.''

I yield back the balance of my time.


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