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Public Statements

Waiving Points of Order Against Conference Report on H.R. 5631, Department of Defense Appropriations Act, 2007

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Date:
Location: Washington, DC


WAIVING POINTS OF ORDER AGAINST CONFERENCE REPORT ON H.R. 5631, DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE APPROPRIATIONS ACT, 2007 -- (House of Representatives - September 26, 2006)

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Mr. HOYER. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentlewoman from California.

Mr. Speaker, I have every intention of voting for the underlying appropriation bill, which will fund the Department of Defense for fiscal year 2007, presumably, and I believe critical to our national defense. Yet it has been languishing for 9 months. In the last breath before the election, we bring the bill to the floor.

However, I have noticed as well, I am sure many Members have, that the Republican leadership has chosen to insert the must-pass continuing resolution in this important legislation, rather than allow a free-standing vote on that issue.

Let no one be mistaken. The Republican leadership, by tucking the CR in the defense appropriation bill, does so because in my opinion it is embarrassed by its own incompetence and ineffectiveness. Just look at the facts. This do-less-than-the-do-nothing Republican Congress is projected to be in session just 93 days in 2006. That is 17 fewer days in session than the do-nothing Congress of 1948, which was famously derided by President Truman.

Yet despite the light work schedule, the Republican majority has failed to enact a budget for fiscal 2007. It has failed to act on even one appropriation bill as we are 5 days from the end of the fiscal year.

No conference reports. That is why we are having this continuing resolution. Furthermore, the Republican-controlled Congress has failed to enact the recommendations of the bipartisan 9/11 Commission.

Failed to enact a long overdue increase in the Federal minimum wage. Failed to enact real immigration reform, and protect our borders, protect our country. Failed to address the fact that 46 million Americans are uninsured today, and failed to enact legislation that moves toward energy independence.

The record, frankly and sadly for the American people and for our country, is that this Republican Congress on fiscal issues is simply abysmal. We go deeper and deeper and deeper into debt.

In 6 years, this Republican Congress and the Bush administration have turned a projected 10-year budget surplus of $5.6 trillion into a 10-year deficit of almost $4 trillion. Republicans' failed fiscal policies have created record budget deficits and forced this Congress to increase the debt limit four times in 5 years.

In the last 4 years of the Clinton administration, we never once raised the debt limit. In fact, in the entire 8 years, the debt limit was only raised twice, in the first 4 years as we were coming out of the fiscally irresponsible first Bush administration.

Mr. Speaker, this continuing resolution, tucked as it is in this defense appropriation bill, is an admission of failure by the Republican Congress. As our friend from Georgia, Congressman Kingston, a Republican leader, said yesterday: ``It is disappointing where we are. And I think Republicans need to be up front about this. We have not accomplished what we need to accomplish.''

Mr. Speaker, I could not agree with Congressman Kingston more on that particular issue. The CR tucked in a defense bill, a CR, an admission of failure, a CR in a bill that is critical to our national defense and to our country. How sad. What a stark admission of failure.

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Mr. HOYER. Mr. Speaker, as you know, I have been here for many years, 26 to be exact. The gentleman mentions 9/11, a cataclysmic event in the history of our country. He is right to mention that. Obviously it cost us money.

But I have served here for 26 years, as the gentleman knows, 18 of these have been with Republican Presidents, 8 with a Democratic President. I tell my friend, in every one of the 18 years with a Republican President we ran deficits above $100 billion.

During the Clinton administration, as you know, we ran 4 years of surplus and 4 years of decreasing deficits, the only President in our life time who had a surplus, i.e., $62.5 billion surplus; the only President in our lifetime who did that during his tenure.

Further, I say to my friend, in 1993, with Democrats in control of the Congress of the United States, and with not one Republican vote, we passed an economic program which raised revenues, which you mention frequently, I do not mean you personally, but your party mentions frequently, but you never mention the fact that in that same bill, we cut $254 billion in spending.

Furthermore, in terms of spending, you say restraint of spending. Democrats do not control spending at all. We do not have control in the House; we do not have control in the Senate. Yet the Republicans have spent, as you well know, at twice the rate of spending under the Clinton administration. I thank you for yielding.

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