|1:39 PM EDT||
Sam Farr, D-CA 17th
Mr. FARR. Mr. Chairman, I would just like to respond to the gentleman from Georgia about his amendment.
First of all, I think it is an ill-conceived amendment, and here's why.
In order to build veterans facilities on former military property, you have to have that property cleaned and cleared and transferred. I happen to represent a base where we have that problem. We have to clear the area. So if you want to provide health care for your communities, you have to do this clearance.
Your statement that this money couldn't be spent is totally false. These are projects ready to go. It is the newest BRAC round that can't be spent until 2008 because they have to have all their plans in place.
You are cutting $50 million out of something that is very critical for a lot of communities and can do a lot of good, and you are adding it to a program where we just put in $3.4 billion. $3.4 billion. So $50 million more in that account is not going to help.
Frankly, we have already raised that account in committee with strong bipartisan support by $1.7 billion over what the President asked for. So you are going to steal from essentially accounts that are critical and put it into an account that has been plussed-up and is fat. The consequences are going to be that people who are wanting to provide health care services for veterans in their community won't be able to build that facility or get that facility refurbished because the environmental cleanup
hasn't been done because we didn't have enough money in the old account. And the only way we can get that money in the account, as I said previously, is to appropriate it.
I think this is a very reckless amendment. I would prefer that we even add more, but that was opposed. But this one, I would hope that you might withdraw your amendment because you are going to do more harm than good.