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Department of Defense Appropriations Act

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Ms. MIKULSKI. Mr. President, first, I would like to bring something to the attention of the Senator from Oklahoma. First, the Senator got a decimal point wrong. I feel amused correcting the Senator from Oklahoma on numbers. But if we read his amendment, it is .50, which makes it half a mile rather than 50 miles. So that is 49.5 off. But before the Senator asks consent to correct that, whether it is half a mile or 50 miles, I oppose the Senator's amendment because this amendment tries to steer fisheries disaster funding for communities only affected by citing the Stafford Act.

Limiting it to half a mile or 50 miles, fish swim big distances, as do crabs, as do lobsters, and particularly those big king crabs. Under the Senator's amendment, by talking about the Stafford Act, it actually has no bearing on fisheries.

Fisheries disasters are declared by the Secretary of Commerce according to the Federal fisheries and commerce laws at the request of Governors. Fisheries disasters are unanticipated. Under this amendment, all federally declared disaster areas would miss out on much needed financial help. I urge a ``no'' vote on the Coburn amendment.


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