U.S. Senate Committee on Environment & Public Works
U.S. Senate Committee on Environment & Public Works
Hearing Statements
Date:   04/29/2004
Statement of Senator Craig Thomas
Reauthorization of the Economic Development Administration

Mr. Chairman, I thank you for holding this hearing today. I believe it is important that we as legislators continually review the functions of the federal government so that the policies and programs remain effective and efficient.

All too often it seems that all sorts of assistance programs continue without review only to be duplicated by another agency, administration, bureau or nook in the federal government to address a similar challenge as the previous program.

The EDA is an organization that many people look to when local development, jobs and creating lasting improvements to the business environment are needed. This is a unique organization with a mission that cannot be understated, and we are fortunate to have Dr. Sampson as its administrator.

As the American economy continues to grow and change, we must be prepared to address the challenges that lie ahead. By allowing communities to access funds for infrastructure and capacity, technical assistance and other obstacles, we can see a one stop shop that will, hopefully, allow an economically depressed area get assistance or get training or get construction so folks can get back to work. In Wyoming, we have seen a number of successes and it is important that as we hear testimony and review the reauthorization, we capture the essence of this program that will focus our resources to our rural and urban communities to create jobs.

I am particularly pleased that we have Assistant Secretary of Commerce Dr. Sampson here today to give us some insight on where his program is and where he wants to take it. As I mentioned, this is important to ensure our federal dollars are used wisely. I know the President has made the implementation of responsible and accountable policy changes a priority and I am glad the EPW Committee can hear testimony today.