Rush Statement at Joint Energy & Power/Environment & Economy Subcommittee Hearing the EPAs FY 2012 Budget
WASHINGTON –– “Thank you, Madame Administrator, for being here today. And thank you for all of your hard work and dedication on behalf of the American people to help provide us with clean air and water and to protect the public health, in spite of all the ridicule and contempt that you have encountered as you attempt to do the job President Obama appointed you to do.
“The President’s budget already proposes a 13 percent decrease to the EPA’s FY12 budget; however, my colleagues on the other side of the aisle are attempting to compound your challenges by proposing draconian cuts of almost a third of the EPA’s budget compared to FY10 levels.
“I can tell you, Madame Administrator, that my constituents are very confused and perplexed that the same Republicans who would cut $3 billion from the agency charged with protecting the public health, are also the same politicians who vehemently resist taking away the $3.6 billion in tax credits from oil companies who are making record profits, even as average Americans struggle to pay for gas.
“Some programs that are near and dear to me will see significant funding cuts, including a $550 million reduction to the Drinking Water State Revolving Loan Fund. “This program provides loans to aid individual water systems, such as the one in Crestwood, IL, in my district, that have trouble complying with federal drinking water regulations, as well as offset costs for meeting the most serious risks to human health.
“Another important program, the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, will see a $125 million reduction in funding, even as we struggle to keep the invasive Asian Carp from entering Lake Michigan waters.
“Madame Administrator I realize that with such steep funding cuts you are forced to make some tough choices as your prioritize your agenda and work to protect America’s air and water supply.
“However, when my Republican colleagues are proposing to slash your budget by one-third, I would be curious to know how your agency will be able to do the job that the American people expect and count on you to do. I look forward to questions so you can tell us how these cuts will affect the critical work that you’re undertaking at the EPA.
“With that I yield back my time.”