|8:46 PM EDT||
Rob Woodall, R-GA 7th
Mr. WOODALL. Mr. Chairman, I realize $200,000 doesn't seem like a lot of money as we talk about millions and billions and then on to trillions. But, Mr. Chairman, when I got this press release from the Department of Energy dated May 24, 2011, it read this:
The U.S. Department of Energy, together with the U.S. Department of Education, today announces the launch of a new energy education initiative, America's Home Energy Education Challenge, to educate America's youth about the benefits of energy efficiency.
Now, Mr. Chairman, you know as I do, this committee has been asked to make tough, tough decisions about how to allocate money in this appropriations bill and has done an amazing job in doing that. And yet what we continue to see out of agencies from downtown is the creation of new programs.
Now you know as I know that we could go through and eliminate, we could zero out this entire appropriations bill and we wouldn't be anywhere close to balance. We could zero out all the discretionary spending and wouldn't be close to balance. And I wonder if folks downtown are getting that same message. Now more than ever is not the right time to start a new program for which there is no demand and bring that to the American people.
Now, Mr. Chairman, I grew up before there was a Department of Energy. And believe it or not--and this program is targeted at folks in grades 3 to 8--when I was in elementary school, we had an energy efficiency program. There was a sign on the wall that said, Please turn out the lights when you leave. There was another room in my younger days that had a bird, and the light switch came right out through the beak that said, Tweet the beak when you leave.
Lots of those things were going on in America's classrooms, Mr. Chairman. They don't need to originate from Washington, D.C. They don't need the U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. Department of Energy to get involved training children to turn out the lights.
We've heard from speaker after speaker after speaker who is trying to move dollars around to make sure that we are targeting our few dollars that we have at those critical, cutting-edge technology programs, those critical research programs, those critical infrastructure programs, and yet here we have a brand new program, Mr. Chairman, going to teach children to turn out the lights when they leave.
I think that is a wonderful goal, and I hope parents across America who are watching this tonight, Mr. Chairman, will take this as their push to go and begin that program at home if they haven't already. Knowing how tight dollars are in my community, I'm sure families are already doing that.
But this is a serious issue that requires folks across this board to come together to make the kinds of spending decisions that we have to make to dig ourselves out of this hole. Creating new programs to do something that are State responsibilities, local responsibilities, family responsibilities, this is not the time nor the bill for it, Mr. Chairman. And I urge my colleagues to support this amendment, to cut this $200,000 and eliminate this new program and put these dollars in the spending
reduction account before the new school year begins.
I yield back the balance of my time.