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Mrs. BLACKBURN. Mr. Chairman, I rise today on behalf of the American taxpayer to continue my push to rein in Federal spending by just 5 percent.
As with the other appropriations bills that my colleagues and I have attempted to amend this year, this proposal would enforce a 5 percent across-the-board cut to the Energy and Water appropriations bill. My amendment would save the taxpayer $1.7 billion and reset Energy and Water spending levels for the next budget.
Spending on Energy and Water programs has increased by, get this, 183 percent over the past 3 years. Under the majority's control, spending has increased 183 percent. The very programs being funded on the House floor this afternoon have already received $51 billion in stimulus funding and $7 billion in supplemental funding this year, this one year.
This Congress has already spent more than $1 trillion than we have taken in. This trillion-dollar deficit is the largest in American history. In my opinion, this deficit represents the height of fiscal irresponsibility and is absolutely unconscionable. On top of it, many of my colleagues are proposing another $1 trillion in government-run health care spending.
Every day we are laying more and more debt on the backs of our children and grandchildren. I ask my colleagues: How do we expect these children and grandchildren, how do I expect my grandsons to pay for college or a first home or start a business when they already owe $70,000 to the Federal Government?
Mr. Chairman, we have to realize debt incurred is opportunity denied. My constituents keep telling me, We are tired of the government spending money we have not made yet on programs we don't want.
Through this appropriations cycle, I have intended to rein in this deficit by cutting spending. And today, again, I will ask the bureaucrats in Washington and their patrons in Congress to trim a nickel from every dollar that they are going to spend.
As our deficit and our debt grow to historic and dangerous proportions, it is more urgent than ever that we take action and bring spending under control.
I reserve the balance of my time.
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Mrs. BLACKBURN. Mr. Chairman, I would remind my good colleagues that this is not Federal Government money. This is taxpayer money. And every year on April 15, the taxpayers send their portion to the Federal Government, and they charge us with looking out after that money. Many times they set aside hopes, dreams and college educations. They don't get to pursue their priorities because they have to send the money to Washington.
I find it absolutely incomprehensible that this body is not willing to turn to the bureaucrats that line all of these streets and these granite buildings and say, save a nickel out of the dollar. Allow our children and grandchildren to have opportunities. We have to realize, as I said, debt incurred today is opportunity denied for these children and grandchildren. I have heard all those arguments before.
When I was in the State senate in Tennessee, they had this grandiose health care plan called TennCare. Oh, it was going to save all this money. It was a public option. It was the test case for public option. It nearly bankrupted the State. When I offered an amendment to make across-the-board cuts, oh, those are draconian, those are indiscriminate. It is going to shut government down.
Well, guess what? They never took the cuts that we had. But when a Democrat Governor came in and he was faced with seemingly insurmountable odds on balancing a budget because we have an amendment, he made 9 percent across-the-board cuts.
We need to do this. We need to make the hard choices of where we are going to spend this money. You can't say, well, when you exclude this from the stimulus, and when you exclude this amount of money, when you exclude this $51 billion from stimulus and this $7 billion from supplemental, then it is only this. Well, guess what? That money is already spent. You spent the money. So unless they pay it all back, you can't exclude it. So your fuzzy math doesn't add up. It doesn't add up. You have already spent that money.
The person that is being undercut is the American taxpayer. And it is being done by the selfishness and by the greed of those who refuse to say ``no'' to a growing, out-of-control Federal bureaucracy.
I think it is time that we get some backbone on this spending issue. Stop the out-of-control deficit. Stop the out-of-control debt. Vote for the amendment and ``no'' on the debt.
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