|8:32 PM EDT||
Scott Garrett, R-NJ 5th
Mr. GARRETT. Mr. Chairman, I ask my colleagues to rise with me in support for my amendment, which will save Americans over $500 million.
My amendment before us today makes reasonable and targeted spending reductions in order to do what? Achieve significant savings that will contribute to our Nation's fiscal health.
Mr. Chairman, we must really now step forward and take bold steps to reduce spending. And I do commend my colleague from the State of New Jersey for the hard work that he has put in, and I appreciate so many of the comments that he has already made on the floor, pointing out to the other side that in so many cases there is money in these accounts, the money hasn't been spent, and they have taken a serious look to try to rein in spending throughout the committee process. For they realize that
our Nation is on a path to bankruptcy and we have maxed out our Nation's credit card.
So while the committee did an admirable job and made significant cuts in the underlying bill, I stand here myself, and I and the Republican Study Committee believe that we can go further than this. So this amendment is a very reasonable attempt at showing that this body is serious about cutting spending.
Mr. Chairman, for too long the Federal Government's energy programs have been sold to the American public as basically wise investments that will yield vast new technologies whose costs would basically pale in comparison to the benefits later on. But when you think about it, when you think about the billions and billions of dollars that we have spent year after year, our energy infrastructure remains largely the same in many respects, and we are still here today dependent upon foreign sources
of oil. And energy prices? Well, they just continue to spiral upward.
The other side talked wise energy policy. Well, time and time again, Federal energy programs have failed to live up to their potential. These Federal programs have allowed the government to basically play venture capitalists, if you will, and they do so not with their own money. Not at all. They do it with taxpayer moneys. And despite the little return on their investment, they have little choice in making these investments. American taxpayers basically are commanded to increase this investment
For example--I will just give out one since we have been here for a long time this evening--the American people are being asked by their government to invest literally millions to promote something called ``advanced solid-state lighting.'' What is that? It's a technology that even its supporters can see is far too expensive to compete in today's marketplace. So does this sound like something that an intelligent investor would do? I think not. But only Members of Congress who are spending other
people's money would do so.
Mr. Chairman, the United States is home to the most vibrant marketplace of ideas and investors. So the very best way for government to encourage energy innovation and revolutionary technology is to do what? It is to use that marketplace and get out of the way and allow private capital to make those investments. It is in the marketplace where private individuals will assess the risks and rewards, and they will invest responsibly with their own money on projects that will merit further development.
So to conclude, considering the precarious state of our economy and the fiscal condition of this country, the government can no longer invest in some of these extremely risky and unproven projects without regard to loss and expense. Government can no longer play the role of that reckless investor. We must eliminate the waste where it exists and encourage the Federal Government to spend the American public's money in a wise and prudent manner.
For that reason I urge my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to vote in favor of this amendment and fiscal responsibility.
I yield back the balance of my time.