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Garamendi Stands Up For Flood Protection, Infrastructure & Technology Investments

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Published on Jul 9, 2013

7/9/13 Congressman Garamendi speaks up for investments in flood protection, infrastructure, and clean energy technology during debate on an Energy and Water Appropriations Bill on the House Floor. A transcript of this video follows:
House Chair: The gentleman is recognized.
Congressman Garamendi: Thank you Madam Chair. A few moments ago I talked about priorities. $7,600,000 plus for nuclear weapons. We just heard a gentleman discuss the issue of locks and levees and ports. Projects in my district for the ports, for deepening the channels, for rebuilding and expanding the economic activity in this nation are not going to be funded. Do we really need to spend an additional $7,600,000 plus on nuclear weapons when we have over 8,000 of them, Russia 7,000, China 250? Do we really need to spend the money there or do we need to spend it on our economic activity, as the gentleman just said? But there is not enough money on the Corps of Engineer budget to provide for all of the ports, all of the improvements that are needed so that our ports on the West Coast, East Coast, Gulf Coast can be competitive. But apparently we have enough money [for nuclear weapons]. Why don't we take some money out of this program and put it where it will be immediately beneficial? It's a matter of priorities. Where your money is, is where your heart is. Okay. That's not where my heart is. We talked about all of the above energy. We ought to talk about all of the above energy. But yet, ARPA-E where we create the new science, the new technology, the new programs that will provide us with new energy sources, improved energy sources, and the improvement of all energy sources. [is] gutted! Gutted. 87% reduction. The Office of Science, where we do real research, where we really can do all of the above whether its coal, oil or renewable [is] gutted! A 73% reduction. Where are our priorities? Where are the priorities of the House of Representatives? Is it to build more nuclear weapons that by the grace of God we will never use, 8,000 of them, or is it to build a levee? Or is it to make sure the researchers at our universities and laboratories have the money that they need to really deal with the problem of the future -- which is climate change! It's about priorities. It's about priorities, Madam Chair, and I ask my colleagues, through you of course, what are the priorities? They are listed very clearly in your legislation.
Congresswoman Kaptur: Will the gentleman yield?
Congressman Garamendi: I'd be happy to yield.
Congresswoman Kaptur: I would just like to reclaim a couple seconds here and just place on the record for the Army Corps of Engineers, the gentlemen is correct. If we look back to the years 2011 and 2012, the bills terminated or suspended over 300 projects across this country. That is not an insignificant number. That is a very significant number. It's one of the reasons we weren't able to put in new starts because we have so many other wounded and casualties standing in line waiting for assistance across the country including the communities that you represent.

Congressman Garamendi: Thank you and I might just point out that, with sequestration, this year, we took $250,000,000 out of the corps of Engineers budget so we are voting on a lower base. This is going to be tragedy, and tragic. But Madam Chair, these are our priorities. Or excuse me, these are not my priorities; these are the majority's priorities. I yield back.

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