|Moran Statement at Subcommittee Markup of the Interior and Environment Appropriations bill, FY2013|
Subcommittee Ranking Member Rep. James Moran
June 20, 2012
"I want to join with Chairman Simpson in recognizing the tremendous contributions that Norm Dicks has made to the Interior Appropriations Subcommittee these past 36 years. He has been a true champion on a whole host of programs within the subcommittee's jurisdiction. The breath of his knowledge and stalwart advocacy for the important work of the subcommittee are legendary.
"Norm's retirement at the end of this Congress is a real loss for this institution. We don't want to see him go but can certainly understand his decision and have a touch of envy as he will have more time for fishing and enjoying the scenic, recreational, and historical resources he has worked so hard to protect and enhance during his distinguished service in Congress.
"I also want to recognize the upcoming retirements of my friends and subcommittee colleagues Maurice Hinchey and Jerry Lewis. Both are valued members who have made significant contributions to the work of this subcommittee.
"Now, Mr. Chairman, turning to the bill at hand, as I compare it with the subcommittee bill from last year what comes to mind is that quote from baseball great Yogi Berra, "It's déjà vu all over again." This is because the subcommittee has again been saddled by Republican adherence to the Ryan Budget, resulting in an unrealistic 302(b) funding allocation that has forced significant cuts in a broad array of natural resource, environmental, historical, and cultural programs. The subcommittee allocation of $28 billion is approximately $1.2 billion below the FY 2012 enacted level and $1.7 billion below the President's request. The cuts affect almost every program and are too numerous to mention here today.
"The subcommittee funding level is unfortunate because my working relationship with you, Mr. Chairman, has been first rate. You have carried out your duties in an open and collaborative manner. I want to commend you for chairing 16 budget hearings this spring and receiving testimony from well over 100 witnesses. You have been a great advocate for Native Americans, and I know that there are many other programs that you would have liked to provide more funding to but could not within the funding allocation you had to work with.
"As much as I appreciate the process, I can't support the product. The deep funding cuts to important conservation and environmental protection programs would, if enacted, cause serious harm to our environment. Likewise, this bill again includes a number of riders and funding limitations that I believe do not belong in the bill and whose effect would be to undermine important environmental law. I strongly disagree on the need for these provisions. Protecting the public's health did not cause the recession, and suspension of these laws will not sustain a recovery.
"The appropriations process wasn't pretty last year but we worked through our differences and in the end I was glad that I was able to support the final fiscal year 2012 appropriations bill.
"Today is just the first step in a long process to complete the FY 2013 Interior and Environment Appropriations bill. It is my hope that by the end of that process we can again have a bill that, like last year, I can support.
"Thank you Mr. Chairman."