Today the House voted on H.J.Res. 48, a continuing resolution (CR) to fund the government at its current rate for an additional three weeks, while Congress and the White House continue to negotiate an agreement that will fund the rest of fiscal year (FY) 2011. The legislation would cut $6 billion - $3.5 billion eliminating waste, fraud and abuse in federal programs; and $2.6 billion in earmarks. Rep Ralph Hall (R-TX) voted against the bill, which passed by a vote of 271-158.
"While I support the spending cuts in this CR, I cannot in good conscience vote for this bill," said Hall. "Our economy is in serious jeopardy, and continuing a pattern of two- and three-week bills to fund our government is not acceptable. We need a long-term budget. These CRs are piecemeal and do not do enough to address spending cuts, the national deficit, or job creation.
"For the past two years the Democrats have refused to pass a budget. This is unacceptable. We cannot shirk our duty to the American people. The President has said that we need to work together. I agree, and I would urge him, along with the Democratic-controlled Senate, to work with the House to pass a long-term budget. Last month the House passed H.R. 1, which funds the federal government for the rest of FY 2011 and would cut $100 billion in federal spending. The House still awaits an offer from the Senate.
"On March 4th I voted for the CR because I felt it was a step toward a final budget, providing an additional two weeks for both the House and Senate to come to an agreement. Despite this additional two-week extension, negotiations with the White House were impossible because the President left town.
"I made a pledge to change the direction we are taking our country. I take this seriously. My ultimate priorities are to create jobs, cut out-of-control spending, and balance our budget. Another short-term CR is not an effective solution to these issues. This CR also does not address the defunding of ObamaCare or Planned Parenthood, which is a major concern not only to myself, but also to many of my constituents. I am told the Tea Party leaders contend that the language of this CR, if enacted, leaves on the table $105.5 billion in automatically appropriated funds for the law's implementation.
"If we don't take action, the present state of our economy will bring additional hardships on American families and small businesses, and jeopardize our children's futures. I am committed to promoting job creation through cutting federal spending, and I will continue to work for a final and lasting budget that meets the needs of the American people and continues attacks on Obama Healthcare. I will cast my vote in a manner that reflects this conviction."
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