ENERGY AND WATER DEVELOPMENT AND RELATED AGENCIES APPROPRIATIONS ACT, 2008 -- (House of Representatives - June 20, 2007)
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Mr. CANTOR. Mr. Chairman, I thank the gentleman from Georgia for yielding.
Mr. Chairman, I rise in support of the amendment offered by the gentleman from Georgia. It is a very straightforward amendment. It simply applies an across-the-board cut of 1 percent to this bill to send the signal that this Congress gets it; that we understand what the American people said, both during the election of last year and what they continue to say today.
As the American public continues to watch Congress, as we have now engaged upon and entered upon the spending season, as the spending and appropriations process is in full bloom, I think we owe it to the American people to do what the gentleman from Georgia says, which is to recognize that these dollars don't belong to the government. They are the hard-earned dollars of the taxpayers of this country.
Now, the underlying bill, as the gentleman said, spends considerably more than what this similar bill spent last year and this Congress spent in this bill last year. In fact, the increase in the level of spending is 10 percent in this bill alone. That is triple the rate of inflation and that means $1.3 billion, billion with a B, taxpayer dollars, more on this one bill.
Mr. Chairman, what that means in real terms to me and to my constituents, that means more than 3 years' worth of property taxes for every household and every business in my home County of Henrico in the Richmond area of Virginia. That is an awful lot of money.
So the public expects us to return Washington to fiscal sanity. The message that was sent last November was that the public expected us to operate differently. Frankly, I don't believe that this bill moves us in that direction. But I do know one thing for sure: that the spending in this bill, if we don't adopt this amendment, will further erode the public trust, not only in this body but in government as a whole.
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