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Public Statements

Department of Defense Appropriations Act

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Ms. MIKULSKI. Mr. President, I understand the Senator from Pennsylvania wishes to speak. I just need to essentially object to his point of order. I do this because although I know he is indeed well intentioned--Mr. President, the Senate is not in order. This is an important precedent that could be set, and I would like Members not to talk.

The PRESIDING OFFICER. If Members would please take their conversations out of the Chamber if they wish to talk. If not, could they be quiet.

Ms. MIKULSKI. I want them to more than be quiet. We are talking about a precedent in the Senate, so I would like, please, if Senators could take their conversations either in the back or off the floor.

The PRESIDING OFFICER. Yes. OK. If Senators could be quiet and listen, and if you must talk, could you do it off the floor.

The Senator from Maryland.

Ms. MIKULSKI. Mr. President, the reason I am so insistent is, No. 1, the decorum of the Senate; and No. 2, this is a dangerous precedent. If this point of order is sustained, it will mean $3.4 billion of urgent disaster relief in this supplemental has to be offset in future appropriations bills. This will mean real consequences this year.

Now, in a $1 trillion budget and the way we talk about money $3.4 billion might not seem like a lot, but it does mean a lot in disaster assistance, and it does mean a lot to the Appropriations Committee. This is a $3.4 billion unspecified cut that will go to domestic programs for fiscal year 2013.

I wish to remind my colleagues we are in a 6-month CR now, so this means right in the middle of a CR, until March, we have to take out an additional $3.4 billion. This will have a terrible impact on domestic programs, and it is a dangerous precedent.

We have never offset disaster assistance, and I urge the adoption of my position.

I yield to the Senator from New York whose community is suffering, and he has done an able job in helping to manage this bill.


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