Mr. FRELINGHUYSEN. Mr. Chairman, I reserve a point of order on the gentleman's amendment.
The CHAIR. A point of order is reserved.
The gentleman from Massachusetts is recognized for 5 minutes.
Mr. TIERNEY. Mr. Chairman, this is a revised amendment that deals with the objection raised by the chairman on the previous amendment that was proposed on this matter. It still gets to the fundamental issue here, that we need to restore the Army Corps of Engineer budgets here through the Construction and Operation and Maintenance accounts to the point of at least where it was in fiscal year 2011.
We have serious issues confronting our economy. This is a way to make sure that the Corps has the resources it needs to deal with its numerous issues--our ports, dealing with our economy, moving the cargo, and essentially putting people to work, and also protecting the homes and the welfare of people that live along ways that need dredging or that need jetties repaired that haven't been repaired for decade after decade.
While I understand that the chairman had a difficult role and opportunity was limited due to the amount of money that was allocated for him and this committee, and I respect what he tried to do, simply speaking, I think we have the choices to make here, and those choices are to protect the interests of people, to make sure that we get people back to work, to give the Army Corps the resources that it needs, at the same time reducing other accounts by a rather minimal amount so that we effect our
purposes without causing too much destruction to programs that other people may favor.
I yield back the balance of my time.
Mr. FRELINGHUYSEN. Mr. Chairman, I rise in opposition to the amendment basically for the same reasons I did for his earlier amendment. We worked hard to preserve a careful balance that our bill strikes, but I appreciate his effort. We recognize his commitment to this type of work; and when we have a better allocation in the future, maybe we will be able to be of more assistance.
I continue to reserve my point of order.
The CHAIR. The gentleman continues to reserve.
Mr. VISCLOSKY. Mr. Chairman, I do not know if a point or order will be insisted upon, I do not know if it will be prevailed upon, but I would want to make a comment relative to the amendment offered by the gentleman from Massachusetts.
I agree with everything that Mr. Tierney has said--and more--during committee and during the general debate on this floor. I mentioned that in the 2009 report card on America's infrastructure, the American Society of Civil Engineers estimated an investment shortfall of $2.2 trillion that is necessary to bring our Nation's infrastructure up to good condition.
Additionally, the engineering society gave our Nation's dams, levees and inland waterways grades of D or D minus.
I want to use my time because we have had a lot of discussion--and I have joined in that discussion--about the inadequate allocation that the subcommittee has been given.
I would also point out that there is another failure, and that is the budget request itself. And the subcommittee has taken note of that on page 13 of their report by stating that the budget request by the President represents a level of investment, as with previous budget requests, that is not reflective of the Corps' importance to the national economy, jobs, or our international competitiveness. And further, the committee urges the administration to take into account while developing a special
request the extraordinary economic benefits of the projects historically funded in the Corps accounts, which, again, jibes with exactly the points that the gentleman from Massachusetts has said.
So I am in agreement with the gentleman. This is woefully inadequate. The administration bears a blame here as well. But I also must add my voice to the chairman's and respectfully oppose the amendment simply because we are in a very tight situation with this bill and we prefer that the amendment not be adopted, despite the relevance of it and the correctness of the gentleman's position from Massachusetts.
I yield back the balance of my time.