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Providing for Consideration of H.R. 2609, Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2014

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. BARTON. Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of the rule for the energy and water appropriation bill.

This, historically, has been one of the first appropriation bills brought to the floor. I'd like to

inform the Members that, as is the practice of the Republicans in the majority, it's an open rule, and there are a number of amendments that will be made. It's my understanding that any individual who wishes to offer an amendment can come to the floor and do so.

The bill is coming in at $30.4 billion, which is $2.9 billion below fiscal 2013 enacted and $4 billion below the President's request, so the Appropriations Committee is operating in compliance with the House budget that we passed several months ago.

This is a good rule. It's a good bill. I would hope that we can support the rule and obviously support the bill.

I would like to also add an editorial comment on the student loan rate issue.

Obviously, we want those interest rates to be as low as possible. But I would point out to my friends on the other side of the aisle that the House passed a bill; it's waiting to be brought up in the other body. They can bring it up tomorrow and vote it, send it to the President for his signature.

Apparently, the great sin in the House-passed bill appears to be that it moves towards an adjustable rate interest rate as opposed to a fixed rate that is below market rates. We would all like to have zero percent interest, obviously.


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