Space Launch Liability Indemnification Extension Actby Former Representative James P. Moran
Posted on 2014-01-15
MORAN. I thank my good friend, the committee ranking member, for
Madam Speaker, this is a bill that should have been supported from the beginning. In fact--no offense to the Budget Committee--but if the Appropriations Committee had been given these numbers from the beginning, there wouldn't have been any sequester or shutdown or furloughs. We could have gotten this done because this is a package of chosen priorities and funding compromises. That is what we do in the Appropriations Committee. So that is why we ought to support it. In fact, we ought to have such a strong vote that we send a signal to all those ankle-biters and naysayers who say we can't get anything done. We are going to get this done. We are going to fund the agencies.
On the Interior Subcommittee, we met all of our obligations. We repaid the fire costs that had been incurred last year. We provided sequester relief for every agency funded in this bill. Now there won't be any agency furloughs in 2014. Every agency is going to be able to carry out their important functions without the sword of sequestration hanging over them.
It provides $5.8 billion more than that initial House allocation, which Chairman Rogers, himself, pointed out was inadequate. These numbers, while they are not as much as I wish they were, they are reasonable. It is a compromise. We are able to provide additional resources to a host of important programs, ranging from clean air and water, natural resources, Native Americans, and the arts.
Just as important as what is included in this agreement is what is not included. Gone are a whole host of some of the worst environmental legislative riders that shouldn't be in the Appropriations Committee, that are more appropriate for the authorizers if they want to have that kind of a debate. Those aren't in this bill, and they didn't belong in this bill in the first place.
I want to commend the gentleman from California, Ken Calvert, our new subcommittee chair. He is carrying on the very high standards set by the gentleman from Idaho, Mike Simpson.
We like to work together when we are given a reasonable allocation. That is the way this Congress, as a whole, ought to work. I want to thank Chairman Rogers, Ranking Member Lowey, and all of my colleagues on the committee.
I particularly want to thank the Appropriations staff. They worked every day through the holidays. One member of the staff had a gallbladder operation, and she didn't miss any work. They were in every weekend. They deserve the round of applause, so let's give it to them.