September 22, 2011
"Mr. Speaker, I rise today to bring to the floor the continuing appropriations resolution to keep the federal government operating until November 18, 2011. Before you is a new version of the bill, which is unfortunately necessary after last night’s vote. I hope that my colleagues recognize the urgency of this situation and will join me in taking the responsible step and supporting this CR.
"This bill must pass if we are going to keep our word to the American people. We need to get help to Americans who need it most – those who lost their homes and businesses to unforgiving natural disasters.
"FEMA is rapidly burning through its emergency funding and its ability to help those people recover from tornados, hurricanes, earthquakes and wildfires. Right now, FEMA is spending $30 million dollars a day for disaster relief. At this rate, they will be out of money in a matter of days.
"This infusion of funding – $1 billion in emergency fiscal year 2011 disaster funding and $2.65 billion for 2012 – is critical – I cannot stress that enough – and it will go far to relieve the burdens of those affected.
"This new version of the bill creates an additional offset to the FY11 emergency funding. In addition to the $1.5 billion offset from the vehicle loan program, we’re rescinding $100 million from the Innovative Technology Loan Guarantee Program, a section of the failed Stimulus Act that funded the now-bankrupt company Solyndra.
"The CR also continues government operations at a rate of $1.043 trillion – the amount agreed to by the Congress and the White House in August as part of the debt-ceiling compromise. This reduced, responsible rate will help restore our nation’s fiscal health.
"It is vital that Congress pass this legislation as swiftly as possible. We must prevent a government shutdown, and we need to replenish exhausted disaster recovery funds. And just as importantly, we need time to complete work on the Fiscal Year 2012 Appropriations legislation, so we can avoid the uncertainty and instability we saw last year when it took us until April to complete full-year Appropriations legislation.
"I urge my colleagues to vote for this bill – not only to keep the government running, but also to help the hundreds of thousands of Americans relying on us to get them back on their feet. Thank you."
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