“I would like to thank Mr. Pastor and all members for their participation in putting this bill together and in many oversight hearings.
The House today will consider the fiscal year 2012 Homeland Security Appropriations bill – the first of the 12 annual funding bills to move to the floor this year. The legislation targets funding to critical homeland security programs and operations, while helping to address the urgent need to reduce spending to rein in the nation’s unprecedented deficits and debt.
“The agencies and programs in this Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill will receive a total of $125.5 billion in both discretionary and mandatory funding, a reduction of more than $7 billion from the President’s request.
“I appreciate having the opportunity to speak on this bill as we move forward with the 2012 appropriations process.
"We have before us today the Chairman’s mark of the fiscal year 2012 appropriations bill and report for Agriculture, Rural Development, the Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies. Members and staffs have had 24 hours to review the bill language. Staff has had an opportunity to review the report.
“We can all agree that our nation’s service-members and veterans deserve the utmost quality of care and respect for their service and sacrifice, and it’s a pleasure to be able to support them.
"It’s been a pleasure to work with my Ranking Member, Mr. Bishop, in this inaugural year of my Chairmanship. He has been by my side through every hearing we have had this year, providing thoughtful insights. His prior experience with the agencies has been most helpful.
“As President Eisenhower famously said, our country is entitled to both safety AND solvency. ‘We need an adequate defense, but every arms dollar we spend above adequacy has a long-term weakening effect upon the nation and its security,’ he said.