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Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2008

Floor Speech

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Date:
Location: Washington, DC


ENERGY AND WATER DEVELOPMENT AND RELATED AGENCIES APPROPRIATIONS ACT, 2008 -- (House of Representatives - June 20, 2007)

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Mr. KLINE of Minnesota. Mr. Chairman, I thank the gentleman for yielding and for his leadership here. I think many of us miss the presence of our former colleague Mr. Hefley from Colorado, and I am very pleased to see that Mr. Price has stepped up to fill that gap, because what we are talking about here is trying to control runaway spending.

We are spending billions and billions of dollars, and this proposal suggests that we try to pare back 1 percent, $316 million in this bill.

Some speakers from the other side have said when the Republicans were in charge, the Republicans spent too much. In fact, the gentleman from Ohio just reminded us of that. He is right. Republicans, when we were in the majority, spent too much.

But the Democrat answer to spend more just doesn't make sense. We are increasing spending here by billions and billions of dollars, and that apparently is backed up by a budget which is reportedly balanced in 5 years by giving us the largest tax increase in American history. That is how you balance the budget in 5 years, with the level of spending that is being proposed here today, billions of dollars too much.

My friend, the great gentleman from Georgia, is proposing a 1 percent, 1 percent across-the-board cut. I commend him for that.

We are spending too much. Let's get this under control. This is a very modest proposal. I commend him for it.

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Mr. KLINE of Minnesota. I thank my friend and colleague, Mr. Wilson, for his leadership.

Mr. Chairman, I rise because we have had a debate here about how much money we're spending and how much we're taxing. There seems to be some confusion about that. We on this side of the aisle have been accused of having spent too much money. And, as I said in discussing an earlier amendment, I fully agree. The Republican majority spent too much money. But what we have before us is a proposal to spend even more money while we're getting criticism for having spent too much, and I have a hard time balancing those out.

We need to get spending under control. And we've had my colleagues, colleague after colleague have come to the floor to propose amendments to make modest reductions in what appears to be runaway spending, billions of dollars too much. And then we've had an argument that said, well, we're not taxing too much because we're not going to add to the tax burden in 2008. I suppose that remains to be seen before the process is over, but I think it's undeniable that the Democrats passed a budget which in order to balance in 5 years results in the largest tax increase in American history. And as the spending goes up to make that match in the end, they force all of the tax cuts which we have fought so hard to get into place, that have spurred this economy and caused jobs to be created and rapid growth in the economy, all those tax cuts would go away, taxes would go up, and we would in fact see the largest tax increase in American history. So we have a huge tax increase, huge spending, that's not the way to see this economy grow. Let's take some steps to curb this explosive rate of spending and stop the semantic arguments here. Let's slow down this runaway spending.

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