Montana's Congressman, Denny Rehberg, today offered an amendment during the initial stages of next year's Energy and Water Appropriations Bill reducing the cost to the taxpayer by $1.2 billion.
"While talking about spending freezes next year, House Democrats are blowing up the spending this year to compensate," said Rehberg, a member of the House Energy and Water Appropriations Subcommittee. "This slight of hand is at best ineffective and at worst completely dishonest and cynical. This freeze is empty rhetoric because it won't actually reduce spending, or even hold it steady. Montanans expect better. My amendment essentially implements the spending freeze a year early -- locking last year's funding level in place."
The national debt has grown to more than $13 trillion, which is more than $42,000 for every man, woman and child in America. Despite not passing a budget for the coming year, the Energy and Water Appropriations Subcommittee has requested $34.7 billion for next year. That figure was $33.5 billion this year. Rehberg's Amendment reduces the 2011 funding figure to the 2010 level.
"I've joined Republicans in forgoing earmarks this year, promising it was the first step toward true comprehensive spending reform," said Rehberg. "My amendment gave my Democratic colleagues a chance to actually put taxpayers money where their mouths are, and they said no. When it comes to fiscal reform, the distinction couldn't be more clear."