July 7, 2011
"I thank the Chairman for yielding, and I congratulate him on completing the FY12 Commerce-Justice-Science Appropriation Bill. Mr. Wolf, Mr. Fattah and staff on both sides have worked tirelessly to bring this important legislation before the subcommittee today.
"Unquestionably our nation has found itself at a crossroads. We’re borrowing 40-plus cents on every dollar to support an unprecedented deficit and record-setting debt. This trajectory is simply unsustainable if we are to grow our economy and create jobs. And perhaps nowhere in the Congress have we made more meaningful progress in reversing these startling trends than here in the Appropriations Committee. This bill is no exception, representing our commitment to restoring austerity, restraint and thoughtfulness to the appropriations process.
"The FY12 CJS bill contains $50.2 billion in funding, a reduction of $3.1 billion (or 6%) below the FY11 CR and $7.4 billion (or 13%) below the President’s request. This total is 3% below the pre-stimulus, pre-bailout level of 2008. These cuts were not easy, but given this time of fiscal crisis, they are necessary to move our country in the right direction.
"This legislation roots out extraneous, duplicative and unnecessary programs while prioritizing some of the most critical aspects of government. Within the overall reductions, strategic increases are included for the federal law enforcement on the front lines who protect our people from criminals and terrorists home and abroad; programs which maintain the competitiveness of our businesses and industries; and those which promote the scientific research that will help America continue to lead the world in innovation.
"Notably on the latter, we encourage the Administration to develop a goal and a plan for achieving the next great milestone in space exploration by mandating an independent assessment of NASA’s strategic direction and management. We also maintain our commitment to appropriate the full estimate of fee collections by the U.S. Patent and Trade Office, so that PTO can continue to reduce the significant backlog of patent applications.
"It is a testament to the diligence of this subcommittee and the Chairman that such significant savings have been realized, while maintaining funding for programs and projects of vital importance to our nation and its future competitiveness.
"I am pleased that we are moving through regular order on this year’s appropriations bills, upholding our commitment to the American people to reduce the size and scope of government through this process. I urge that the subcommittee to support this bill and promptly report to the full Committee."