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Public Statements

Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies Appropriation Act, 2013

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. HARRIS. Mr. Chairman, this amendment would prohibit the use of funds for many of the international projects in the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy--that's EERE--including the President's plan to spend $600,000 on ``sustainable cities'' projects in China and India. My amendment is identical to one I offered last year that was successfully adopted by this Chamber.

I would also like to congratulate the chairman of the committee for his own action regarding this issue. The chairman's bill reduces funding for EERE by $428 million from last year's level. He makes the hard choices required to address our country's deficit and spending problems.

This amendment supports language in the report that accompanied the FY 2012 appropriations bill. In that report, the chairman was able to retain much of last year's amendment by directing the DOE to only fund projects that directly benefit the United States, such as increasing American energy self-sufficiency, furthering United States research efforts or reducing domestic pollution.

Unfortunately, the Department of Energy is failing to follow these clear instructions. Instead, they are choosing to spend money in China and India on foreign sustainable cities projects, even as we borrow money from China to pay our national debt.

Mr. Chairman, we must take great care how we spend our constituents' paychecks. I don't believe these projects make the best use of hard-earned taxpayer money. There are greater needs that remain unmet and a massive Federal debt and annual deficit that continues to drag down our entire economy, as was demonstrated in today's Congressional Budget Office report. I urge adoption of the amendment.

I yield back the balance of my time.


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