Washington, DC - Congressman Jim Moran, Northern Virginia Democrat, applauded the repeal of the discriminatory "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" military policy. Since enacted in 1993, the policy forced more than 13,000 gay and lesbian service men and women to be discharged from military service.
"No longer will we subject the brave men and women who volunteer to serve our nation to a shameful vow of silence, asking them to lie about who they really are," said Moran. "'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' was wrong, it was un-American, and now it is history. Our nation and military are stronger as a result. I was proud to stand with members of Congress last year to vote down this wasteful, harmful policy."
"This was a long fought but well won victory for the citizens of Alexandria and the nation's capital. What once was the largest stationary source of air pollution will be no more. Through citizen involvement and committed city officials, the Potomac River Generating Station and its 1949 coal-fired boilers will finally be shuttered," said Moran.
"This amendment is a misguided attempt at deficit reduction that would save virtually nothing, yet lead to the closure of some of most popular tourist attractions in our nation's capital," said Rep. Moran. "The Smithsonian Institution is the world's leading museum complex. It is something that all Americans can be proud of and learn from. We should be supporting their work, not tearing it down."
Prepared remarks below:
"Mr. Chairman, this is a sad day for the environment and America's great natural and cultural heritage. H.R. 2584, with its deep cuts in important environmental and natural resource programs and amazing array of special interest riders and funding limitations, falls far short of meeting our responsibilities to protect and wisely use the resources of the earth.
"I was proud to vote against the "Cut, Cap and Balance Act" tonight. The House Republicans have presented us with their vision for America's future. This is a vision in which the country turns its back on the achievements of the last century and chooses not to invest in meeting the challenges of the next century.
"The 18 percent spending cap mandated by the bill would return the government to spending levels not seen since the establishment of Medicare and Medicaid. This would necessarily result in unprecedented cuts in student loans and grants, transportation, education, environmental protection and enforcement, in other words, the physical and human infrastructure of our economy.
"The bill also demands that in return for avoiding an economically disastrous default on our debt, we make $111 billion in immediate spending cuts, seriously increasing the likelihood of a double-dip recession.
"As an appropriator I have learned that budgets are the firmest expression of our values. This is not the time for the Democratic Party to sacrifice our values, values held by a majority of the American people even in the face of opposition that has reached unprecedented levels of ideological radicalization. We must address our long-term deficits, but we must do so in a balanced manner, combining rational spending cuts and increased revenues."
Washington, DC - Congressman Jim Moran, Northern Virginia Democrat released the following statement in advance of the July 12th Appropriations Committee markup of the FY 2012 Interior and Environment Appropriations Bill:
"Through the appropriations process, the majority party is demonstrating their priorities by eviscerating the budget of the lead agency responsible for making our water cleaner and air less polluted. It reduces the EPA budget to $400 million below 1999 levels, an amount that would virtually cripple the agency's efforts to clean up toxic sites, monitor our air quality and prevent dirty chemicals from entering our water supply.
"This legislation should be called the "Pro-Pollution Omnibus Bill," particularly given the 25 policy riders it includes, which read like a wish list for industries looking to ignore the Clean Air and Water Acts. They even go so far as to open up federal lands adjacent to the Grand Canyon for uranium mining."
"The Appropriations Committee should reject this poorly crafted, negligently funded, pre-meditated attack on the health of our people and the environment. I will offer amendments in the full committee mark up to strip out the harmful 25 anti-environment riders."
Notable provisions included in the bill:
"Thank you Mr. Chairman. I am almost speechless on this bill. Based on the subcommittee's 302(b) allocation, the funding allocations in this bill are not surprising but they are very disappointing. I recognize the difficulties you faced Mr. Chairman in crafting the bill and I appreciate your efforts to protect funding for Indian programs. I only wish that protection could have extended to other portions of this bill.
Washington, DC - Congressman Jim Moran today took to the House floor to speak out against the "Restarting Offshore Leasing Now Act", which would require the federal government to open the shores of Virginia to drilling and hold a number of lease sales in the Gulf of Mexico in 2011.
"This bill is more about scoring political points and currying favor with the oil and gas industry than reducing the price of energy," said Moran. "The proposed lease sale would interfere with U.S. Navy operations and Virginia's commercial fishery and tourism industries. National Security and economic growth should trump lining the pockets of big oil executives."
Representatives Moran and Connolly offered an amendment to the "Restarting Offshore Leasing Now Act" to give the President and Secretary of Defense authority to prohibit offshore lease sales that interfere with naval and Department of Defense actions. In May 2010 the DoD stated nearly 80 percent of the drilling area proposed to be sold in Virginia, Lease Sale 220, would interfere with U.S. Navy training and operations (including Navy SEAL Team Six).
"I congratulate President Obama, our military and intelligence communities, and in particular the service members who carried out this operation. Nearly ten years ago, our nation was forever changed by the 9/11 attacks. This was a major strategic and psychological blow to what's left of al-Qaeda.
"Bin Laden's death further raises serious concerns about Pakistan's role in the war on terror. The location of the operation, just outside their nation's capital and in range of a major military facility, calls into question key aspects of our strategic alliance."
Washington, D.C. - Congressman Moran announced today that $20 million for short and mid-term transportation improvements at the Mark Center has been made available by the Defense Department (DoD). The funding was requested by Congressmen Moran and Connolly, and Senators Webb and Warner.
"Because the Army failed to anticipate, and thus budget for the impact of moving 6,400 people to the intersection of I-395 and Seminary Road, it has become necessary for additional funds to be made available to prevent gridlock at the Mark Center. We welcome this funding, but it's just a start given the major challenges we face. Combined with funding from the Commonwealth, the Mark Center is set to receive an infusion of $100 million in an effort to prevent a traffic nightmare.
"I continue to call on the DoD to delay full occupation of the site until these dollars are spent and the transportation improvements are put in place. It's the height of irresponsibility to push forward on the relocation until the Mark Center is complete - and that includes the roads, public transit and ramps that will service it."
In January, Reps. Moran, Connolly, Senators Webb and Warner sent a letter requesting that DoD money be reprogrammed towards funding short and mid-term transportation improvements at the Mark Center site. These improvements include ramp modifications at the I-395 and Seminary Road interchange, intersection improvements at Seminary Road and North Beauregard Street including a pedestrian bridge, and intersection improvements at North Beauregard Street and Mark Center drive. Today, that funding has been released by DoD.