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The Official Truth Squad

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Location: Washington, DC


THE OFFICIAL TRUTH SQUAD -- (House of Representatives - February 15, 2006)

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Mrs. BLACKBURN. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman from Georgia, and kudos to Mr. Price and the other freshmen class members for starting the Truth Squad. I know that each and every one of you are going to do a great job as you take issue by issue that comes before this body, issues that are so important to the American people because we want to be certain that we do a few things while we are here, that we are good stewards of the taxpayers' money, that we are diligent in preserving freedom because we know that our children and our grandchildren deserve the opportunity to have the ability to dream big dreams and, as we said last night, to grow up in a safe, free and secure world. We want that for them, and we want that for every American citizen.

Certainly being certain that we focus on our economic security is important. As I said, last night we talked about national security and that importance, that we have that free, safe world. Tonight we will be looking at economic security. Congresswoman Foxx always speaks so well, and I loved what she was saying about the spending habits of Washington.

Mr. Speaker, some of my constituents remind me regularly that Washington does not have a revenue problem, Washington has a spending problem. This great big bureaucracy that is built up around Washington has a tendency to eat up those tax dollars that come from the local communities in Washington and somehow never get back out there to the programs.

I think one thing we all would agree on is that Washington is never going to get enough of your money. It is never going to get enough of your money. It has an endless appetite for your money. Certainly Ronald Reagan's statement that there is nothing so close to eternal life on earth as a Federal Government program, we see that borne out every single day. We as conservatives keep focusing on that spending problem. We keep focusing on ways to reduce Federal spending.

Certainly we have made some inroads. The gentleman mentioned the Deficit Reduction Act which was and is a plan that is going to yield a savings for the American people. In this, we saw the 1 percent reduction. How we pushed to get those bills in there. Last year, we had bills, and the gentleman from Georgia joined me in sponsoring those bills for 1, 2 and 5 percent across-the-board reductions so that we would begin to prioritize.

That is what the American people want us to do, to prioritize, to make decisions about where is the best way, the very best way for this government to function so that it is continuing to provide the services and the infrastructure that we need to be the greatest Nation in the world. That is what they want to see from us. We were so pleased to see those reductions included in that Deficit Reduction Act. Yes, indeed, we are going to be working to be certain that we do that again this year.

One of the good things about the Truth Squad and what you all are going to do over the next many months is to bring forward ideas, to bring forward ideas. How do we make this government more efficient, how do we make it more effective, how are we certain that we are prioritizing and meeting the needs and desires of the American people, and how do we hold the Federal Government accountable for the dollars that they are going to spend. Because it is not government's money, it is the taxpayers' money.

I know that Representative Conaway is going to speak in a few more moments. I hope he is going to talk about the Federal Programs Offset Reduction Act that he introduced today. I am cosponsoring that bill. That is the type of innovative idea that we need to see brought forward. If you are going to propose a new program, then, by golly, get in this budget and find something that is duplicative, that has outlived its usefulness, that is wasteful and eliminate it. If you are going to do something new, take away something that is not working.

As I have co-chaired the Task Force on Waste, Fraud and Abuse, that has been one of the creative suggestions and one of the recommendations, programs like that that we are looking for. We are looking forward to supporting Mr. Conaway in that work because we know it is our responsibility to be a good steward. We know that it is our responsibility to keep in mind that Washington is never going to get enough of the taxpayers' money, and we know that it is our responsibility to remember that Washington does not have a revenue problem. It gets plenty of money. Washington has a spending problem.

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