DEPARTMENTS OF LABOR, HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES, AND EDUCATION, AND RELATED AGENCIES APPROPRIATIONS ACT, 2006 -- (House of Representatives - June 23, 2005)
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(Mr. PENCE asked and was given permission to revise and extend his remarks.)
Mr. PENCE. Mr. Chairman, I thank the gentleman for yielding me time. More importantly, I thank the chairman for bringing fiscal discipline and leadership to the appropriations process.
I rise today not so much as a Member of Congress from Indiana but as the chairman of the largest caucus in the House of Representatives. The Republican Study Committee boasts over 100 members, men and women who are committed to fiscal discipline and traditional moral values. And so when the gentleman from Ohio (Chairman Regula) brings to the floor a Labor-HHS appropriations bill that makes the tough decisions to put our fiscal house in order, I have to rise, even on a controversial issue like Big Bird, to stand with this chairman and to thank him.
The stakes are high; $7.7 trillion is the current running money on the national debt. According to CBO, our fiscal 2004 national deficit number is $413 billion. In order to bring this bill in and to keep discretionary spending below last year's level, this legislation literally eliminates 57 programs encompassed in this bill and asks many programs to accept up to a 50 percent cut. Asking the Corporation for Public Broadcasting that receives only 15 percent of its funding from the Federal Government to accept what amounts to a 22 percent reduction as we attempt to put our fiscal house in order is reasonable and responsible and precisely that which the American people elected the Republican majority to do.
We have no higher stewardship, no higher calling than to come onto this floor and into this Chamber and make the tough decisions. And put in the context of recognizing that the Corporation for Public Broadcasting receives 85 percent of its funding from sources beyond the Federal Government, in the context of its overall budget we are simply asking them to do with 4 percent less.
I rise in opposition to the amendment. I stand in strong conservative support of the gentleman from Ohio (Chairman Regula) and his desire to make the tough decisions and put our fiscal house in order.
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