PROVIDING FOR CONSIDERATION OF H.R. 1591, U.S. TROOP READINESS, VETERANS' HEALTH, AND IRAQ ACCOUNTABILITY ACT, 2007 -- (House of Representatives - March 22, 2007)
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Mr. RYAN of Wisconsin. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman from California.
Mr. Speaker, this bill takes the cake. Let me tell you why this bill takes the cake. For all the talk about fiscal discipline we have received from the new majority, this bill represents an egregious violation of the budget rules that the Democrat majority set for itself just recently.
Last year in the 109th Congress, we decided to put in place a new tool of fiscal discipline, one that said if it is really an emergency, then it should be an emergency, but don't put pork and unrelated programs into emergency spending bills. So we set up a procedure, a procedure that set aside $6.45 billion to be reserved for domestic emergencies. If we had more money needed above that, the Budget Committee would meet, the Budget Committee would determine whether or not a particular program met the definition of a legitimate emergency, and then it would raise the corresponding amount, which then the Appropriations Committee could use.
Last night we met in the Budget Committee. We could have easily added a discussion or a vote on whether or not this extra $22 billion fit the definition of a legitimate emergency and raised the amount, but what did this new majority do, after putting in place these rules that we had from the 109th Congress to this 110th Congress? They waived them. They are gone. All of this talk about fiscal discipline, all this talk of PAYGO, of paying for things, what happened? Gone. Waived.
We added an amendment last night in the Budget Committee during the resolution markup to continue these rules next year so that we can't pork up emergency spending bills. Both parties have been guilty of this. Please note that I say that. What happened? They voted it down. So not only are we not living by the rules put in place just in January, we canceled the rules for next year.
So what happens? This bill puts $22 billion in unrelated, unrequested spending, having nothing to do with the war, in here. And the idea that we police emergencies, that we make sure that when you do an emergency spending bill with no offsets, that it really is an emergency, and that we police it and we look at it in the Budget Committee, gone.
The days of fiscal discipline have left. Last night in this budget, the Democrat majority passed the largest tax increase in American history. The reason they passed the largest tax increase in American history is because that is the only way they can balance the budget to also accommodate all the new spending they called for, because this budget had zero savings, no controls on spending, nothing but tax increases. And now they are waiving the rules so that they can bring any emergency spending bill they want without checking as to whether or not it truly is a legitimate emergency.
Mr. Speaker, for this, and many, many, many other reasons, fiscal discipline, using the rules and obeying the rules and not handcuffing our generals, I ask for a ``no'' vote on this rule and a ``no'' vote on the underlying bill.
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