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Richard S.
Republican AL

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  • Department of Defense, Military Construction and Veterans Affairs, and Full-Year Continuing Appropriations Act, 2013—Motion to Proceed—Continued

    by Senator Richard C. Shelby

    Posted on 2013-03-12

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    SHELBY. Madam President, I just want to follow up on some of the comments the Senator from Louisiana has made--very positive comments about research and the role of the Federal Government in all aspects of research. She is a very hard-working member of the Appropriations Committee and she has been involved in a lot of this.

    Whether it is research on health issues--the National Institutes of Health on cancer or you name it--information technology, energy, which the Senator from Louisiana referenced--there are so many good things that come out of this, and I believe, overall, the Senate and the House, on both sides of the aisle, realized this. But with all the breakthroughs in information technology we have had, we have only to go back to the research and development the Federal Government did that basically brought us our Internet to realize that didn't just happen. It was built over many years, with many ideas and research. Look at it today. We have all benefited from this overall.

    There are threats to this information technology, in everything we use today dealing with energy; for example, our power grid, because a lot of that, as we all know, is computer driven and operated, our banking system's information technology, our military, our traffic [[Page S1686]] control systems we rely on every day, and I am sure our trains and other vehicles we run. There are threats to this today. A lot of us know it as cyber security threats, and they are real.

    So as we do research in this area, as we continue our research, we cannot forget that. That is a job we all have to work together on, and I believe, on the Appropriations Committee, this is a good start today for challenges in our future to the security of our information systems--our grid, our banking system, our Federal Reserve, and I can go on and on because it affects everything in our everyday life, and we shouldn't forget it.

    I think we are off to a good start today. Senator Mikulski, the chair of the committee, and I believe this is the first time in a few years we have come to the floor trying to work together on appropriations, and we are determined to make this regular order work. I believe the majority of the Senators on my side of the aisle--the Republicans--and those on the Democratic side of the aisle will, in a few days, bring this to a head and we will do something good for the American people and bring forth some certainty and some good legislation.

    I suggest the absence of a quorum.

    The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll.

    The legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll.

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