October 11, 2013
House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers spoke on the House floor today in support of H.J. Res. 76, the Nuclear Weapon Security and Non-Proliferation Act. The House approved the bill 248-176.
The Chairman's statement follows:
"Mr. Speaker, I rise today in support of H.J. Res. 76, the Nuclear Weapon Security and Non-Proliferation Act.
"Like the bill we passed yesterday, this legislation addresses matters of critical importance to our national security. The National Nuclear Security Administration maintains our nuclear deterrents here at home, but also helps ensure that nuclear weapons and materials don’t fall into the wrong hands – those of terrorists and other enemies to our nation.
"H.J. Res. 76 provides funding for the NNSA to continue this vital work – to keep our nuclear arsenal at the ready, and our Navy ships powered – and ultimately, to keep this country safe, secure, and protected.
"This is particularly important at a time when we face multiple threats from unpredictable nations. When our government shut down, it did not also shut down nuclear power reactors, research, and testing in Iraq, Iran, or North Korea.
"Funding is provided at the current, annual rate of $10.59 billion to sustain national labs, continue the work of skilled workers and scientists, conduct ongoing nonproliferation intelligence operations, and maintain the safety and readiness of our nuclear stockpile.
"As with the prior 14 “Mini CRs” this House has passed, this language is essentially identical to what was included in my initial, short-term Continuing Resolution – so this is a clean bill, adhering to the Senate’s demands in that regard. And also as with the prior bills, this funding will last until December 15, or until full-year Appropriations are enacted.
"It is my hope that the latter is what happens. Our nation deserves the certainty of an adequately funded government, with appropriations bills that reflect current needs, but also current fiscal restraints.
"To achieve this, we must come together with our Senate counterparts and have a meaningful discussion that establishes a single, common, top-line number for discretionary spending – that members of both parties, and both Houses of Congress can support."
"The ongoing standoffs are not productive. They aren’t getting us any closer to reopening the government. While it’s not the ideal path forward, at this time, passing this funding bill does get us a step closer to ending this shutdown – which I know is the goal for my colleagues on both sides of the aisle.
"So far, this House has voted on a bipartisan basis to reopen critical government functions, including support for those who serve our nation at the Department of Defense.
"Our nuclear security efforts are equally important to our defense, and should have ongoing funding to keep this country safe and sound.
"I urge my colleagues to support this bill. Thank you, and I yield back."