Chairman Rogers: FY12 Energy and Water Appropriations Bill Keeps Us On Track Toward Economic Recovery
House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers today gave the following statement in support of H.R. 2354, the Fiscal Year 2012 Energy and Water Development Appropriations bill:
"Mr. Speaker, I rise today in support of H.R. 2354, the fiscal year 2012 Energy and Water Development Appropriations Bill.
"This bill is a model of fiscal restraint. I can attest to the fact that the Committee has taken a long, hard look at each and every line in this bill to make sure that we are getting the greatest value from each and every taxpayer dollar spent, cutting back funding for programs that are not operating up to par. This bill is also proof that we can make these common-sense spending reductions without damaging or impairing the programs that help keep our country safe and our citizens at work.
"This legislation rightly appropriates taxpayer dollars where they should be – in programs that provide the greatest benefits to the American people and that get our economy moving again. This includes $30.6 billion for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Department of Energy, and a host of independent agencies, including the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. This is $5.9 billion below the President’s FY12 request, and $1 billion below current spending levels.
"The Energy and Water Appropriations bill funds important work that affects every community in every single one of my colleagues’ districts. These are the quality-of-life programs that preserve our public safety and our economic competitiveness – including energy independence programs and national defense programs within DOE. This bill supports Army Corps construction projects – projects which are vital to national security and which have a tangible impact on job creation.
"But this year’s bill is unlike any Energy and Water Appropriations bill in recent memory in one major way. Some of our colleagues and critics were no doubt wondering how we would write this bill under the earmark moratorium, but I am proud that we’ve been able to craft a responsible bill that funds projects across the nation without one single earmark. And by doing so, we have made the process much more transparent – requiring that organizations like the Corps provide an outline of how, when and why they’re spending precious federal dollars – while maintaining the constitutionally mandated Congressional authority over budget decisions.
"On the subject of oversight: I’d particularly like to note that $35 million is included to continue the Yucca Mountain review process. The Committee has supported these efforts for years, and I’m relieved to see that the rest of Congress is finally beginning to see the light and support this program, and to realize the extent to which the Administration’s position ignores good science and wastes billions of taxpayer dollars.
"While providing the vital funding for our nation’s energy and water programs, this bill abides by the Committee’s promise – and my promise as Chairman – that we would cut spending wherever and whenever we can. I must commend Chairman Frelinghuysen and the Subcommittee for finding significant spending reductions in areas that have seen excessive and unnecessary increases and in those accounts with large unspent balances. This is the responsible and serious way to get our budgets back into balance and to help keep us on track toward economic recovery.
"I would like to thank Chairman Frelinghuysen and the Ranking Member Mr. Visclosky for their collegial and intelligent work on this bill. I would also like to recognize the Subcommittee staff on both sides of the aisle for their tireless effort putting together this legislation.
"Mr. Speaker, I urge my colleagues to support this bill."