Mr. MOLLOHAN. Mr. Chairman, an across-the-board cut to this bill of 5 percent is really disastrous. As a general proposition, cuts that are indiscriminate affect every account in a [Page: H6949]
bill--whether it's this appropriation bill or any other appropriation bill--and one of the best reasons to oppose them is for that reason, they're indiscriminate. They affect every account in the bill, and that, of course, means that someone has not done a thoughtful exercise
in going through and trying to find out where there might be a few extra dollars with regard to this account or that account.
I would also suggest that that's exactly what this subcommittee has done, both the majority and the minority, and we have done it in close cooperation with the minority as we have worked this bill this year and brought it to the floor of the House. We have looked at every single one of these accounts. We have done exactly what this amendment does not do. We have done the hard work of thinking about where dollars should be applied, where the need exists, and where that need exists, we've increased
funding in accounts, not indiscriminately, but very consciously through a thoughtful process.
Now, just a couple of examples of what a 5 percent cut would do. In the Department of Commerce, a 5 percent reduction would result in the complete elimination of $370 million of Census contingency funding, significantly increasing the risk of unforeseen events impacting field operations with regard to the census.
Mr. Chairman, we are on the brink of conducting the 2010 census. The census has had a lot of starts and stops along the way. Those matters have been corrected, and we are in a position to have a good, accurate census conducted in this country. This is the wrong time to take any cut with regard to Census.
A reduction of $230 million to NOAA would eliminate the entire National Environmental Satellite Data and Information Service, or alternatively, literally wipe out all salmon and endangered species funding.
Mr. Chairman, a reduction of $92.4 million to the rest of the title 1 would eliminate the Minority Business Development Agency and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration salaries and expenses, as well as Public Telecommunications Facilities' planning and construction account. Those are accounts that directly impact people sitting around tables in kitchens across the country.
For NASA, this cut would significantly reduce needed contingency in the development of all new NASA missions, missions for which we just heard Democrats and Republicans speak about with great concern.
The National Science Foundation is another example. This drop in government support for research and development, on top of the falloff in corporate research investment and private foundation support, would stress the Nation's research universities at the time that this country needs to invest in research, needs to invest in development so that we're at the cutting edge of the new economy as we go forward, which is at the very heart of President Obama's new economic recovery plan and strategy.
An across-the-board cut, an indiscriminate cut of any kind--5 percent, 1 percent, 2 percent--I consider it to be mindless. It's not a careful consideration of fashioning fiscal policy.
I hope that this amendment will be opposed by the body.
Mr. Chairman, I reserve the balance of my time.