THE APPROPRIATIONS PROCESS
Mr. COBURN. Mr. President, in the past in this body, I have been highly critical of some of the things that have gone on in the appropriations process. But I want to say the chairman of the Appropriations Committee in this body, with the appropriations package we are going to look at today, or whenever we get to it, has done a phenomenal job. I think the American people need to know this is the type of leadership we have been looking for for a long time.
All of the additional spending for the victims of the hurricane, for LIHEAP, for all of the additional things we are going to be doing, has been paid for not on the backs of our children and our grandchildren but in fact by making hard decisions on what to trim.
A lot of resistance is probably going to come with this, and the reason people are uncomfortable with it is because we are trimming the size of the Federal Government at the same time we have neighbors on the gulf coast who need help, and those who are unfortunate with their heating bills this year need help.
I want to have in the RECORD that both Senator Stevens on the Defense appropriations bill and Senator Cochran I believe have done a fantastic job, and they have set a benchmark for where we need to go next year in terms of any new programs we need to be paying for by making reductions in other programs. What it is doing is securing the future for our children and our grandchildren.
My hat is off to them. I think they have done a great job. We have looked over the bill since last evening, since the numbers came through. We are very pleased. There are no gimmicks, no games being played with the numbers. Hard choices have been delineated in this bill which will require hard votes but for the right reasons. And for the next two generations, I thank them for their hard work on this bill.
With that, I note the absence of a quorum.