Norm Dicks' Statement During Floor Consideration of the C.R. (HR 2608)

September 21, 2011
Press Release
Norm Dicks' Statement During Floor Consideration of the C.R. (HR 2608)

September 21, 2011

"I rise in reluctant opposition to the Continuing Resolution. For the most part, it is a reasonable CR. It provides funding at $1.043 trillion, as required by the Budget Control Act cap on FY 2012 appropriations, through November 18. The CR continues funding as provided in FY 2011, with a 1.503 % across-the-board cut.

"The CR adds a handful of anomalies requested by OMB, including provisions to cut back on Overseas Contingency Operations funding; authorize DHS work on National Special Security events; extend flood insurance; and delay the Postal Service payment obligation. The last provision will allow mail services to continue while Congress pursues legislative reforms.

FEMA has deferred funding for all long-term rebuilding projects to focus on immediate needs.

"The Administration requested a $500 million supplemental appropriation for the remaining days in the fiscal year. They requested 2011 emergency funds; they did not recommend an offset. This has been the practice for supplemental disaster relief above the annual budget request. Since 2002, Congress appropriated $95 billion in supplemental disaster relief; all of it was designated as an emergency and none of it was offset. Some other emergencies may have been paid for during the Clinton administration; however, during the Bush administration this was not so.

"For fiscal years 2002 through 2006, President Bush requested supplemental disaster relief funding eight times. Each of the eight requests was designated as an emergency and none were offset. With Republicans in the majority, some of the Bush emergency disaster relief bills, without offsets, were approved by voice vote and some were considered under unanimous consent.

"Nonetheless, House Republicans insist on a departing from this practice.

"They insist on taking $1.5 billion from the Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing Program at the Department of Energy to pay for $1 billion in emergency supplemental disaster relief.

"We have discussed compromises with the other side; they have shown no interest.

"The Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing Program was started in 2008 to reinvigorate American manufacturing. To date, the program has awarded $7.5 billion of credit subsidy to promote energy efficient advanced vehicles and their component parts. The Department of Energy estimates the loan guarantees have created or maintained 39,000 jobs in California, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, Michigan, Missouri, and Tennessee.

"Some have suggested that this program has been slow to spend emergency funding provided in the FY 2009 CR. I say the loan review process is – and ought to be – strenuous. One company originally applied under a different loan program in 2006 and received an Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing loan in 2010; it required four years of due diligence and review to qualify for the loan.

"By taking away ATVM funding because the program spent time to do due diligence, Republicans seem to be issuing an ultimatum to all loan programs: expedite the review process or see your funding transferred away.

"By the way, the company in question employed about 400 workers before receiving the loan. Today, they have 1,400 employees in the fields of engineering research and development, design, manufacturing, assembly, maintenance and service, sales, and support.

"The ATVM program has an additional 18 loan applications in progress that are projected to create 50 - 60,000 more jobs in California, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, and Ohio. One pending application would support investments at 11 plants in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and Ohio. The company employs over 56,000 workers, having added nearly 9,000 new workers since 2009.

"Some of these jobs will be at risk by using this offset. This is not the time to put American manufacturing jobs at risk."

112th Congress