Mr. SCALISE. Mr. Chairman, I demand a recorded vote.
The Acting CHAIR. Pursuant to clause 6 of rule XVIII, further proceedings on the amendment offered by the gentleman from Louisiana will be postponed.
AMENDMENT NO. 81 OFFERED BY MR.
Mr. FRELINGHUYSEN. Mr. Chairman, I reserve a point of order on the gentleman's amendment.
The Acting CHAIR. A point of order is reserved.
Pursuant to the order of the House of today, the gentleman from California (Mr. Rohrabacher) and a Member opposed each will control 5 minutes.
The Chair recognizes the gentleman from California.
Mr. BROUN of Georgia. Mr. Chairman, my amendment eliminates funding to the Department of Energy's Office of Efficiency and Renewable Energy.
We should be developing the vast quantities of proven energy resources readily available in this country, but instead the government continues to subsidize green technologies that are not yet ready to be used wide scale. They are neither efficient nor affordable, and Federal agencies should not be in the business of picking winners and losers. If these technologies were viable, the Federal Government would not need to give them handouts and, instead, they would be able to succeed on their own.
Further, this legislation provides millions of dollars of foreign assistance to countries like China and India to implement renewable energy programs. At a time when our Nation is broke, and we are broke, why are we sending taxpayer money to our foreign competition?
I urge support of this amendment.
I reserve the balance of my time.
Mr. VISCLOSKY. Mr. Chairman, I would point out to my colleagues that the amendment, as stated by the gentleman, would eliminate all funding for the Office of Efficiency and Renewable Energy.
The bill already includes a reduction of $491 million from the current year level, which is a 25 percent cut.
The debate, relative to energy policy in this House--and not necessarily restricted to this amendment--talks about subsidies. But there are two parts to a Federal budget: There are spending-side issues and there are revenue- and tax-side issues.
I would hazard a guess as we stand here that there is not an energy source in the United States of America, be it coal, be it nuclear, be it gas, be it solar, be it wind, that does not somehow receive some benefit either by loss revenue or direct spending of the Federal Government in its endeavors.
What we do have to do is necessary research to make sure that we do expand the mix of energy utilization in this country, and certainly that is the purpose of the Renewable Energy Program Research at the national level. With 70 percent of our energy now generated through coal or natural gas, this cannot continue.
As I have said in earlier debates during the week, my senior Senator from Indiana, Senator Lugar, has always described our energy problem as a national security issue given where petroleum products tend to be bought in the United States of America. Without this type of very serious research, we are not going to solve that national security problem, and we are not going to assiduously create job opportunities and economic opportunities.
I would respectfully object and oppose the gentleman's amendment.
Mr. LEWIS of California. I appreciate my colleague for yielding.
Very briefly, while I am very respectful of my colleague's attempt here to [Page: H5067]
do what he can to cut clear back on spending, this is a very important area of our committee's responsibility.
The amendment would totally eliminate funding for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. It is a bit, a step too far, and I associate myself with the remarks of my colleague and reluctantly oppose the amendment.
Mr. BROUN of Georgia. I appreciate the gentleman from Indiana's comments, and I submit that the best way to make sure that we have that national security that my colleague from Indiana was talking about is for us to open up all of our God-given resources of energy here in this country, and we are not doing that.
Mr. Chairman, we need to start doing everything we can to develop every energy source that we have, and I believe in an all-of-the-above energy policy.
The best way to determine what energy policy is going to be viable and is best for America is by letting the marketplace work. I believe in the brilliance of the marketplace. The marketplace, unencumbered by taxes and regulation as well as free from government meddling in the marketplace by picking winners or losers, is the best way to develop those drastically needed energy resources. And I believe in renewable energy. But is it viable economically? And is this country going to be viable economically
if we continue spending like we have been spending?
And, in fact, many Members of Congress seem to have the idea that this country is going to totally dry up and blow away if the Federal Government doesn't supply everything to every entity's needs. I hear over and over again from colleagues that they want to continue this spending and that spending. In fact, in the committees--I serve on three committees--I hear my colleagues, particularly other side, talk about we have a tremendous debt that we need to deal with.
But it reminds me--as I hear them also talking about not cutting programs--it reminds me of an old saying back from our founding era when our Founding Fathers were talking about the discussion in taxes. Today's mantra is ``don't cut me, don't cut thee, cut the fellow behind the tree.'' Well there's nobody behind the tree.
I believe we are in an economic emergency as a Nation, and Congress needs to face the fact. We're headed towards an economic collapse as a Nation. We've got to stop picking winners and losers and let the marketplace do that. Let people vote with their dollars instead of our funding this and not funding that, subsidizing this and not subsidizing that. The best way to do these things, the best way to figure out who should be the winner or loser is let the marketplace do what it does best and let
people vote with their dollars. Let people invest in things that make sense and not invest in those things that don't make sense.
And we've got a lot of renewables such as this corn-based ethanol that doesn't make sense. It doesn't make sense economically, and it doesn't make sense even from an energy perspective. In fact, I'm a good Southern boy. I love my grits and cornbread. It makes absolutely no sense for me to be burning up my grits and cornbread driving down the road putting it in the gas tank of my GMC Yukon.
So we need to let the marketplace do its thing. We need to reel in the spending that Republicans and Democrats alike over the last several decades have been using to grow the size and scope of government. So I encourage my colleagues on both sides to support this amendment. It makes sense economically.
I yield back the balance of my time.
Mr. BROUN of Georgia. Mr. Chairman, I demand a recorded vote.
The Acting CHAIR. Pursuant to clause 6 of rule XVIII, further proceedings on the amendment offered by the gentleman from Georgia will be postponed.
AMENDMENT NO. 27 OFFERED BY MR.