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Public Statements

Further Continuing Appropriations Amendments 2011

Floor Speech

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Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. KINGSTON. I thank the chairman for the time.

Madam Speaker, I want to make three very important points right off the bat:

Number one, our debt is almost at 95 percent of the GDP. It's the highest debt we have ever had in history. Last year alone the deficit was $1.5 trillion. We are borrowing 40 cents for every $1 that we spend. Now, if you and I were doing that in our households or our business was doing it or anybody else, you would say, okay, we've got to change our spending habits. But somehow there are those in Congress who think that we can continue to defy the laws of gravity. We have got to get our house in order.

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Mr. KINGSTON. I thank the chairman.

I just want to say that I don't think that Mr. Zandi has any more credibility. We have already spent $800 billion on his advice that the stimulus program would work, and it did not work.
Number two, why are we here? We are here because the Democrats last year did not pass a budget, did not pass appropriation bills, and did not complete their work on fiscal year 2011. That's what we're doing. We are trying to clean up the mess that was left to us. And in doing that, we are mindful of our financial situation and trying to reduce some of the spending.

Number three, let me say this. This bill was passed with an open rule. Indeed, I believe we had 127 votes on different amendments. Democrats and Republicans offered a myriad of amendments. Now, for those who are complaining on the floor today that they don't like these cuts, why didn't they offer their amendments on the floor a couple of weeks ago? That would have been the way to do this. Now, the chairman and the Speaker have committed to have open rules throughout this process this year, and so there will be a lot of opportunities to go after some of these programs. And some of the ones that are mentioned, I think I will support those cuts. But I just want to emphasize that everyone has had a bite of this apple.

Finally, let me just say this, Madam Speaker. The Zandi report comes from an economist, a political economist we might say, who was the same person who told us the stimulus bill would work, the stimulus bill would keep us from going to 8 percent unemployment. We reached 10 percent. I don't think we need to listen to any more of his advice.

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