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Public Statements

Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2014

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. BARROW of Georgia. Mr. Chairman, this week marks the beginning of sequestration-related furloughs in my district. As a result, 3,200 employees at Fort Gordon near Augusta, Georgia, will be doing without 20 percent of their pay for the next few months.

Also, like many in this House, my district is home to projects caught in the Corps of Engineers' construction backlog. In particular, the New Savannah Bluff Lock and Dam near Augusta has been waiting for repairs by the Corps of Engineers for 13 years, when Congress first authorized them.

This bill includes language to allow the Federal Government to purchase more cars on top of the 700,000 vehicles it already owns. My amendment would simply prohibit the expenditure of funds to purchase more vehicles. I believe there are better ways to spend that money.

I am serious about cutting unnecessary and wasteful spending. I also believe that cutting spending shouldn't be an end unto itself. It's an opportunity to reduce our deficit, but it's also an opportunity to make our government work better.

This amendment represents a relatively small change to the bill, but I believe it speaks to a larger principle. It would be an inappropriate use of taxpayer money to purchase more cars when so many folks across the country are being forced out of work and so many critical projects sit untouched. I urge my colleagues to support this amendment.

I yield back the balance of my time.


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