Chairman Rogers Prepared Statement on FY 2012 Energy and Water Appropriations Bill Before Full Committee
"I’d like to thank the Chairman, Mr. Frelinghuysen, and the Ranking Member, Mr. Visclosky, for their remarks and for their hard work on the FY 2012 Energy and Water Development Appropriations Bill.
"This legislation represents your commitment, Mr. Chairman, and that of the Republican majority, to restoring restraint and responsibility to the appropriations process in a time when we cannot spend as we used to. The Committee has taken a hard look at each and every line in this bill to make sure that we are prioritizing taxpayer dollars in programs that have the most benefit to the American people, while cutting back funding for programs that we simply cannot afford or that are not performing up to snuff.
"This bill appropriates roughly $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 programs and projects funded in the Energy & Water bill affect every community in our nation. Many of these programs are integral to our quality of life, and the Subcommittee rightly prioritized programs with tangible effects on urgent public safety needs and our economic competitiveness.
"We’ve funded critical national defense programs in DOE, energy independence programs and Corps construction projects, which are vital to national security and which will have an immediate impact on job creation. For instance, the bill includes over $7 billion to sustain the nation’s nuclear weapons stockpile. This critical funding will promote critical investments to modernize the nation’s nuclear weapons and infrastructure in order to maintain our military readiness and safety.
"In accordance with House rules, there are no congressional earmarks in this legislation. Also, the bill does not fund the full amount requested by the President for his earmarks within the Army Corps. Instead, the committee provides additional funding for essential flood control and navigation projects – projects that the Corps will have a chance to transparently select, and then justify back to Congress. This additional flexibility will help address critical needs across this country, while improving Administration transparency and maintaining Congressional authority over budget decisions.
"This legislation also includes provisions critical for enforcing oversight over the Administration. I’d like to particularly note that $35 million is included to continue the Yucca Mountain review process. This Committee has been protesting this foolishness for years, and it’s good to see that the rest of Congress is finally beginning to see the extent to which the Administration is discarding good science and billions of taxpayer dollars.
"While providing for critical programs, this bill makes good on our promise to cut spending to more sustainable levels. We’ve made smart and significant spending reductions in areas that have seen massive and unnecessary increases through the stimulus or where the private sector can pick up the tab, as well as in those accounts with large unspent balances.
"I congratulate the subcommittee on making these common-sense reductions without damaging the programs that help keep our country safe and our citizens at work. And once again, I thank Mr. Frelinghuysen, Mr. Visclosky, Mr. Pastor, and the staff on both sides for their hard work on this legislation. I urge the Committee to promptly report this bill to the House."