Mr. BROUN of Georgia. Mr. Chairman, this amendment would reduce the appropriations for the Department of Energy's salaries and expenses by $9.5 million and place that amount in the spending reduction account. When combined with the reduction included in the underlying bill, this amount would represent a 25 percent cut from current levels.
Mr. Chairman, I understand that this may seem somewhat drastic. However, I've spoken again and again today about the fiscal emergency facing our country.
There are legitimate constitutional functions of the Federal Government which must be funded, particularly those that relate to our national defense. Yet even those functions are facing cuts--deep cuts. This means that prioritization is necessary so that we may determine our wants versus our needs.
We need to open up access to new sources of energy. We need to stop being dependent on foreign oil. The Department of Energy has done very little to further either of these goals. In fact, according to its original purpose of being stood up, it has been a dismal failure.
Certainly, there are advances to be made in current technology. But in the here and now, we know that we are sitting on vast resources that are so tied up in red tape it could be decades before they could come to fruition.
The House has passed several bills--and will continue to pass bills--to lighten the Federal burden and bring true energy freedom to this country. But the Senate and the administration disagree with us. They would rather throw millions upon millions towards new sources of clean energy, some of which have turned into highly publicized wastes of taxpayer dollars.
Mr. Chairman, we need to prioritize developing the resources that we have now. Unfortunately, the Department of Energy has proven time and again it is out of touch with the needs of our country. The bureaucrats responsible for putting the Solyndras of the world above traditional sources of energy pull in more than $100,000 a year on average, all the while doing little to lighten costs for American families. In fact, despite a supposed hiring freeze, the Department of Energy's Web site, right
now today, is currently advertising 31 job openings paying over $105,000 per year.
This is ridiculous, Mr. Chairman, and it must stop.
My amendment would force the Department of Energy to reevaluate its priorities and put our current needs first rather than hoping that new, clean sources of energy will pan out eventually.
I urge my colleagues to support my amendment, and I yield back the balance of my time.