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Public Statements

Providing for Consideration of H.R. 1, Full-Year Continuing Appropriations Act, 2011, and Waiving Requirement of Clause 6(a) of Rule XIII with Respect to Consideration of Certain Resolutions

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. KINGSTON. I thank the gentleman from Georgia for the time.

Mr. Speaker, yesterday we got the President's budget and it was basically more of the same: higher taxes, more spending, more deficits. In fact, it will give us the third year of trillion-dollar deficits. And it made no mention of entitlement reform. In fact, the President ignored the recommendations of his very own hand-picked deficit reduction commission. It was very disappointing. But at the same time I want to work with the President. Where he wants to save money and reduce spending, I think it's important for Republicans to reach out and say yes.

Now it sounds to me like the Democrats want to remove themselves from that process, which is interesting because what we are debating in this $100 billion spending reduction bill is an open rule process where Democrats can put amendments on the board. And if they do agree with us, as I'm sure they do, that for every dollar we spend, 40 cents is borrowed, that our national debt is 96 percent of our GDP right now, and that spending each year is 25 percent of the GDP, a historical high, then I know they would want to act with us rather than against us and try to address this situation.

So I say to my Democrat friends, if you feel this is too much, then offer your own spending cuts. This is what can change in Washington this year. Rather than having the same old hollow, rhetorical debate, which incidentally doesn't really pull the rug out from the Republican Party; it pulls the rug out from Congress. It damages our own credibility that we can't come together as representatives of a nation and try to move the country forward together.

Sure we can skirmish over things. For example, we've got $8 1/2 billion in earmarks eliminated in this mark. Now maybe they want to restore the earmarks. That's fine. We have a reduction of 149 different spending programs. Maybe they want to restore those. Maybe they want to double that amount.

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Mr. KINGSTON. Maybe the Democrats want to insist that the stimulus money stay in there. We go after the remaining portion, $2 billion. Maybe they think that's a bad thing and maybe we should get more out of it. But rather than just having the same old drama over and over again, hiding behind children and seniors and Pell Grants and everything else, why not come to the table and say, ``Here are our cuts''?

Mr. Speaker, this is 2.6 percent. That is to say that if I owed you a dollar and paid you back 97 cents, sure, you might still want that 3 cents from me, but, you know, you're pretty doggone close. This is a 2 percent reduction in a $3.7 trillion budget.

Now, if the Democrats don't like it, don't call it slashing and burning and all these other descriptions that are lively and make for good rhetoric and good drama. But if anything is irresponsible, it's irresponsible to call a cut of 2.6 percent reckless.

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