|Norm Dicks' Opening Statement at Energy & Water FY13 Subcommittee Markup|
April 18th, 2012
As Prepared For Delivery
"Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and congratulations on being the first subcommittee to mark up an FY13 appropriations bill.
"First of all, I would like to address the overall budgetary concerns. I fear that the outlook for this year's bills may be unnecessarily uncertain given the Majority's choice to renege on the Budget Control Act agreement reached just last year and cut the FY13 overall allocation by an additional $19 billion. This reduced discretionary allocation in the Ryan budget threatens to stall economic growth and job creation. However, I am cautiously optimistic that this allocation is merely temporary, and at the end of the day, the real level will be $1.047 trillion, not $1.028 trillion.
"Despite the low overall allocation, I am pleased that this bill provides funding above last year's level and that it is within the range of what would have been expected if the Majority had stuck to the agreement they voted for in the Budget Control Act. But this subcommittee's relatively decent allocation raises serious concerns about what funding levels will be assigned to the remaining bills with this Ryan budget scenario.
"Overall, many programs in this Energy and Water bill are sufficiently funded; however, I have concerns about the funding levels provided to certain accounts. Of particular concern are the deep cuts to the Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy program as well as steep reductions to the ARPA-E program. These efforts are vital to our Nation's innovation in the energy sector. And I would like to reiterate Mr. Visclosky's concerns with regard to the relative funding level of the Army Corps of Engineers, particularly as they confront the challenge of our aging infrastructure.
"And although this Subcommittee mark does not fully fund the budget request for the clean-up at the Hanford nuclear site in Washington State, I understand that the funding level is sufficient for continued progress and reflects a realistic work plan for FY 13.
"I want to applaud the Chairman for continuing the funding for the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste storage facility. As I have said repeatedly, along with many of my colleagues here on this Subcommittee, the Administration position to close the Yucca site runs counter to the law of the land that Congress passed back in the 1980s.
"Thank you, Mr. Chairman, with that, I yield back."