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Department of Defense, Military Construction and Veterans Affairs, and Full-Year Continuing Appropriations Act, 2013

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. VISCLOSKY. I appreciate the time and, first of all, want to thank Chairman Young of the Defense Subcommittee for his very good work. I want to thank the members of all of the subcommittees for their efforts throughout the years but, again, particularly those on the Defense Subcommittee, as well as our staff.

I do intend to support the measure, but do ask a question: Where are the other 10 bills for the Department of Agriculture, the Department of Transportation, and others, with less than 6 months left in the fiscal year?

For some of my colleagues who would vote for no appropriation ever in their life, I ask: What is there to fight over with the National Institute of Standards, or the Copyright Royalty Tribunal, or the Mine Safety and Health Administration?

I am grievously concerned, Mr. Chairman, that we no longer legislate in this body, but we lurch, we lurch from crisis to crisis. I find it inexplicable that some of my colleagues would vote in a heartbeat for a continuing resolution to run the government looking backwards last year at exactly the same amount of money for a similar appropriation bill with all 12 bills so that we could make decisions and exercise our constitutional responsibilities.

Continuing resolutions look back and run the most powerful Nation on Earth like we did last year. We are absent any legislative decisions, and it is an abdication of our constitutional responsibility. I would push it further and say we have a mandate. In article I, section 9, there is one sentence, it says:

No money shall be drawn from the Treasury but in consequence of appropriations made by law.

It is time that Congress begins to appropriate measures and runs this government and country and stops lurching.


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