I'm pleased to call to order the first hearing for fiscal year 2012 of the Legislative Branch Subcommittee of the House Committee on Appropriations. The total fiscal year 2012 budget request that we will consider is $3,798 billion, and represents a $142 million increase, or 3.9% over current funding levels. This is exclusive of the Senate and the Senate Office Buildings which total $1,050 billion.
Continuing with the tradition of comity, those items will be considered by the
This Subcommittee is tasked with determining the level of funding Congress
needs while ensuring accountability for its own spending and maintaining the
ability to justify this spending to our constituents.
I recognize the Legislative Branch Appropriations Bill is the smallest of the annual Appropriations bills, one half of one percent of all appropriations spending, but I respect the fact that it presents a unique set of challenges and concerns.
This is my first time serving on this Subcommittee, and more importantly as
Chairman. I would like to make myself very clear when I say, actions speak louder than words and in difficult times, leaders should lead.
My Republican colleagues and I took the first bold step to stop the culture of
spending and started a culture of savings when we passed H.R. 1; saving taxpayers $100 billion. Further budget examination will not be easy. It will be tough. It will be painful. But, it must be done. I truly believe we are going to be faced with a set of decisions between wants and needs.
A need is something you have to have, something you can't do without. A want is something you would like to have. It is not absolutely necessary, but it would be a good thing to have.