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Financial Services And General Government Appropriations Act, 2008

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC



Mr. RYAN of Wisconsin. Mr. Chairman, I thank the gentleman for yielding.

Mr. Chairman, I rise in support of this amendment and the next couple of amendments. Just as the gentleman said, I would like to ask the gentleman from Ohio a quick question: Does this amendment propose that this bill spend less money this year than it spent last year?

Mr. JORDAN of Ohio. No, not at all, Mr. Ryan. The amendment would spend exactly what we spent last year.

Mr. RYAN of Wisconsin. Mr. Chairman, we hear this word ``cut'' all the time. Cut. Cut. Cut. Only here in Congress, only here in Washington is spending the same amount of money this year as we spent last year a deep horrible, awful, disastrous cut. We are proposing to spend almost 10 percent more next year.

How many family budgets went up by this much money, an 8.9 percent increase? How much did wages go up this year? How much did pay raises go up? Did they go up 8.9 percent for most families this year from last year? No. So why should we be giving government such a huge pay raise?

What we are doing by doing this is we are taking more money away from the paychecks of working men and women to give government a bigger paycheck, to give government a bigger pay raise.

Mr. Chairman, what this is about is about trying to bring discipline to the way we spend taxpayer dollars. The budget we are operating under today contains within it the largest tax increase in American history. The budget we are operating on today says that all those tax cuts that expire at the end of the decade, we want them to expire. And do you know what? We are going to start spending that money now.

So the reason this amendment is important, and other amendments like this are important, is we are trying to reduce the spending appetite of government, of Washington, so we can make sure that we don't raise those taxes. Because if the incumbent budget resolution actually fulfills its promise, this money will get spent and those taxes will get raised. That is what this is about.

It is different approaches, different philosophies. We don't believe in all these huge increases: triple the rate of inflation, triple the rate of our constituents' ability to pay their taxes. We believe government should live within its means.

Let me be the first to say that both parties have done a lousy job of keeping track of this over the years. Both parties have some of the blame to share. But in the last couple of years, this party, which is now in the minority, did do a better job of holding the line on domestic spending. This party did take on entitlements. This party did stand against tax increases.

So, Mr. Chairman, you see here an emerging difference between whether or not we ought to have the largest tax increase in history and whether or not we ought to be increasing spending, and not at the rate of inflation, not at twice the rate of inflation, but at three times the rate of inflation.

I am pleased that this committee allocation is under the President's request. I wish all the subcommittee allocations were underneath the President's request, including the Defense.


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