Chairman Rogers Prepared Statement on FY 2012 Energy and Water Development Appropriations Bill at Subcommittee Markup
“I thank the Chairman for yielding, and I congratulate him on completing the FY12 Energy & Water Development Appropriations Bill. Mr. Frelinghuysen, Mr. Pastor and staff on both sides have worked tirelessly to bring this important legislation before the subcommittee today.
“The fiscal situation confronting our nation is of immediate importance. President Eisenhower had it right when he said that we ‘cannot mortgage the material assets of our grandchildren without risking the loss also of their political and spiritual heritage.’ These difficult choices about federal spending simply cannot be put off to future generations in the name of political expediency, and this bill represents your commitment, Mr. Chairman, and that of this Congress, to restoring austerity, restraint and thoughtfulness to the appropriations process. The programs and projects funded in the Energy & Water bill touch every community in our nation, and they are undeniably critical to our safety and economic competitiveness. It is abundantly clear to me that you have scoured every line of the President’s budget in search of savings.
“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. It goes without saying that the subcommittee has rightly prioritized funding on national defense programs in DOE and Corps construction projects, which are so vital to public safety and which will have an immediate impact on job creation. Notably, there are no congressional earmarks in this legislation – but this bill has made available some $380 million to provide the Corps with additional flexibility. The Corps will have 45 days to show us how they’d spend this funding on additional flood control and navigation projects in congressional districts around the country. These priorities are balanced by cutting spending in areas that have seen massive increases through the Stimulus or where the private sector can pick up the tab, and those accounts with large unspent balances.
“It is a testament to the diligence of this subcommittee and the Chairman that such significant savings have been realized while maintaining funding for programs and projects of vital importance to our nation. I am pleased that we are moving through regular order on this year’s appropriations bills, upholding our commitment to the American people to reduce the size and scope of government through this process. I urge that the subcommittee promptly report this bill to the full Committee.”