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Cole Calls for Passage of Continuing Resolution

March 7, 2013

Washington, D.C. – Rep. Tom Cole (OK-04) made the following remarks on the House floor in support of H.R. 933, the Department of Defense, Military Construction and Veterans Affairs, and Full-Year Continuing Appropriations Act of 2013.

Mr. Speaker, H.R. 933 accomplishes several key objectives.  First, it preserves military readiness and national security capability, while maintaining core commitments to our troops and our veterans.  Second, it ends the current uncertainty of the FY13 budget. It seems that we often over the past year, we have had to move from crisis to crisis. Thanks to the leadership of Chairman Rogers and Chairman Sessions, we are able to consider funding the federal government through the end of the fiscal year at this point, avoiding the threat of a government shutdown.

Additionally, by considering the full year DOD and MILCON/VA bills, we are able to establish a stable baseline for the Departments to act from, as opposed to having to rely on the FY2012 priorities. This bill realigns the appropriation accounts for DOD and MILCON/VA to better reflect fiscal year 2013 execution, rather than the fiscal year 2012 levels carried forward in a CR.

Mr. Speaker, this legislation operates under the caps of the Budget Control Act of 2011 as modified by American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012. There are across the board reductions in security and non-security spending to reach the caps of $1.043 trillion. Additionally, there is a provision which ensures that funding will be reduced to the post-sequester level.

Finally, Mr. Speaker, I want to spend a moment discussing the “anomalies” in this bill. Let me assure my colleagues that none of the anomalies in this legislation, on net, do anything that raise the cost of the bill above the statutory Budget Control Act caps. Some of the anomalies in the bill are things like: turning off $100 million in convention funding for Charlotte and Tampa, and turning off $31 million in funding for the Eisenhower Commission, where funding has been delayed indefinitely and they have expended no funds yet. These anomalies are limited. There are only approximately 80 in this whole bill. For reference, in the last full year Continuing Resolution, there were over 600 anomalies. The Appropriations Committee has been judicious in its use of anomalies, only providing them in the cases where mission critical operations might be impacted.

Mr. Speaker, this is a good bill. I urge support for the rule and the underlying bill, and I reserve the balance of my time.