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Providing for Consideration of H.R. 1363, Department of Defense and Further Additional 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

Ms. FOXX. Mr. Speaker, by direction of the Committee on Rules, I call up House Resolution 206 and ask for its immediate consideration.

The Clerk read the resolution, as follows:

H. Res. 206

Resolved, That upon the adoption of this resolution it shall be in order to consider in the House the bill (H.R. 1363) making appropriations for the Department of Defense for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2011, and for other purposes. All points of order against consideration of the bill are waived. The bill shall be considered as read. All points of order against provisions in the bill are waived. The previous question shall be considered as ordered on the bill to final passage without intervening motion except: (1) one hour of debate equally divided and controlled by the chair and ranking minority member of the Committee on Appropriations; and (2) one motion to recommit.

Sec. 2. The requirement of clause 6(a) of rule XIII for a two-thirds vote to consider a report from the Committee on Rules on the same day it is presented to the House is waived with respect to any resolution reported before April 11, 2011, providing for consideration or disposition of a measure making or continuing appropriations for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2011.

The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. Poe of Texas). The gentlewoman from North Carolina is recognized for 1 hour.

Ms. FOXX. Mr. Speaker, for the purpose of debate only, I yield the customary 30 minutes to the gentleman from Massachusetts (Mr. McGovern), pending which I yield myself such time as I may consume. During consideration of this resolution, all time yielded is for the purpose of debate only.

GENERAL LEAVE

Ms. FOXX. Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent that all Members have 5 legislative days to revise and extend their remarks.

The SPEAKER pro tempore. Is there objection to the request of the gentlewoman from North Carolina?

There was no objection.

Ms. FOXX. House Resolution 206 provides for a closed rule providing for consideration of H.R. 1363, which is a bill providing 1 week of continuing appropriations, a full year of funding for the Department of Defense, and cuts $12 billion in wasteful Federal spending.

Mr. Speaker, it's unfortunate that we are at this juncture nearly 7 months into fiscal year 2011, considering the bill that this House will soon consider. We are seeing a stunning lack of leadership on behalf of Washington Democrats, including Senate Majority Leader Reid and President Obama, who have refused to do the work that Americans sent them here to do. They have exhibited willful disregard for our troops and their families, who are uncertain about their paychecks with a government shutdown looming.

The bill we will debate and pass funds the Department of Defense for the remainder of the year, while cutting another $12 billion in wasteful Washington spending. Lest we forget, the reason this problem exists at all is because the liberal Democrat elites were so incapable of governing in the last Congress that they couldn't even pass a budget for the first time since modern congressional budgets were first created over 30 years ago.

They didn't do that because of their lack of leadership then and their apparent realization that the American people had tired of big spending, big government policies streaming out of Washington, which is why the Republicans now control the House of Representatives.

Today with real leadership in the House we have real solutions to these real problems. House Republicans have passed H.R. 1, which is a continuing resolution that takes us to the end of the fiscal year.

The Democrat response? In another display of their lack of leadership, Senator Reid sits on his hands while Senator Schumer tinkers in his game of manipulating the liberal political message in a phone call with reporters.

House Republicans then took the lead in crafting two short-term continuing resolutions, H.J. Res. 44 and H.J. Res. 48, providing for an additional 5 weeks of funding authority while cutting $10 billion in wasteful Federal spending along the way.

Realizing that the stubborn liberal elites in the Senate and White House are using the threat of a government shutdown to continue their failed wasteful spending policies, House Republicans last week passed H.R. 1255, the Government Shutdown Prevention Act, which provided for enactment of H.R. 1 in the event that the liberal malaise continues to stymie progress on fiscal 2011 appropriations.

After all of these gestures of good faith made by House Republicans, the time has now come for the hapless liberal Democrat elites in the Senate and the White House to make a decision. It's time to decide between acting responsibly, abandoning favored political alliances, or continuing their failed Big Government policies as a solution to all earthly problems.

These points aside, there is one truth upon which everyone could probably agree: that the new Republican House leadership has changed the discussion in Washington, D.C., and across the country.

Whereas the previous discussion in Washington revolved solely around how much more money we should spend, today the discussion is how much more money we should cut.

Americans can now rest easy knowing that their message was received by responsible adults here in the House, and we will work to reflect their support for a leaner Federal Government focused on finding solutions to problems, rather than political gamesmanship and perpetual misguided adventures in social engineering.

Speaker Boehner has told the President that the House will not be put in a box and forced to choose between two options that are bad for the country, like accepting a bad deal that fails to make real spending cuts or accepting a government shutdown due to Senate inaction, and that is why House Republicans, in lieu of an agreement in which the White House and Senate agree to real spending cuts, are offering this third option: another good-faith gesture that funds our troops through the end of the fiscal year while cutting an additional $12 billion in wasteful government spending and keeps the government running for another week.

Real leadership is long overdue in this Congress, Mr. Speaker, and it's refreshing to see the new House Republican majority step in and fill the void left by such a devastating lack of leadership that has resulted from liberal Democrat domination of this city for far too long.

Let's start by voting for this rule and the underlying bill.

I reserve the balance of my time.

BREAK IN TRANSCRIPT

Ms. FOXX. I yield myself such time as I may consume.

Mr. Speaker, my colleague from Massachusetts and I are actually, I think, getting fairly fond of each other, spending so much time in the Rules Committee as we do. However, I really have to call into question a couple of comments that he has made.

Is this bill really a step backwards when we're funding our troops for the rest of the year, taking away the uncertainty that they have just in case the government votes to shut down or the Senate doesn't act as it should and allows the government to shut down?

Do we really need to continue all the appropriations for LIHEAP, the funding for helping people pay their heating bills, when we are in April this year? This is money that goes until the end of September. I hardly think that we're going to have people freezing to death in this country between now and September 30.

Do we need to be looking after seniors and children? Obviously, we do. Republicans are not heartless people. But we have to look after them in a responsible way. Cutting spending is the way to be responsible to them.

And, Mr. Speaker, I have to remind my colleague again that we are here to fix a problem that they left for us last year: funding the Federal Government for the rest of this year.

Yesterday in the Rules Committee, one of our colleagues said, Let's stop talking about the past and talk about the future, when we brought this up. Well, Mr. Speaker, Republicans would like nothing more than to do that, but we're doing all that we can to avoid a government shutdown, and that is what this rule and bill are all about this morning.

Republicans understand that unless we change course, higher taxes, inflation, interest rates and unemployment will cripple our economy and rob our children of the opportunity to pursue the American Dream. Let's be clear. We don't have deficits because Americans are taxed too little. We have deficits because Washington spends too much. We've got to stop spending money we don't have. Right now, we're borrowing 43 cents for every dollar that we spend.

I want to talk a little bit about the long-term effects of what we're planning to do in this Congress this resolution introduced by Budget Chairman Paul Ryan and passed out of the Budget Committee last evening will spur job creation, stops spending money we don't have, and lifts the crushing burden of debt. It's a plan that puts the budget on a path to fiscal stability and our country on a path to prosperity by cutting $6 trillion in Federal spending over 10 years and takes government spending below 20 percent of GDP.

Mr. Speaker, historically, our government spending has been between 18 and 20 percent of GDP. Once we go over that, we are endangering our country, and that's where our colleagues across the aisle have been for a long time. The White House predicts that their proposal will reduce the deficit by only $1.1 trillion over the same period of time.

According to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, President Obama's budget would generate more than $9.5 trillion in additional deficits between fiscal years 2012 and 2021. I actually have a visual here, Mr. Speaker, that shows exactly what is going to happen under President Obama's budget.

In contrast, the Republican budget resolution provides us with a path to prosperity by limiting the Federal Government to its core constitutional roles, keeping America's promises to seniors, and unleashing the genius of America's workers, investors and entrepreneurs. The Republican budget has a projected real GDP growth of $1.5 trillion over the next 10 years.

With this budget resolution, we're taking direct aim at wasteful Washington spending as opposed to the Obama budget that spends more than $46 trillion over the next decade.

Since January of 2009, there has been a 24 percent increase in non-discretionary spending, a number that jumps to 84 percent when stimulus funds are included, Mr. Speaker. Democrats promised if we paid for their stimulus, unemployment would stay below 8 percent. Then it soared to 10 percent. One trillion dollars in debt later, Americans know they didn't get what they paid for.

The 2009 stimulus law has gotten the most attention with considerable focus on the billions of dollars it wasted on dubious government projects as well as the many promises it broke with respect to job creation and economic growth. The Republican budget resolution projects an unemployment rate of 4 percent by 2015, Mr. Speaker.

If we continue on the wrong path that we're on now, Americans will not be able to rely on Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security in order to plan for retirement if we don't take action. Republicans want to serve as good stewards of the investment of millions of Americans paying into Social Security. Republicans will save $750 billion through Medicaid reform in the form of block grants to States, giving Governors greater and much needed flexibility in their budgets.

As it stands, the share of the budget that goes to these entitlement programs is growing rapidly, and demographics, economics and skewed political incentives are driving Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare into bankruptcy. Alice Rivlin, the former Clinton OMB Director, has called Medicare's current policy ``not sustainable.''

Cutting spending is about ending wasteful spending, making the government leaner and more efficient, showing respect to hardworking taxpayers, and making the tough choices today that save our children and grandchildren from even tougher choices tomorrow. For hardworking Americans, this isn't about politics. It's about their life and putting our economy and our Nation first.

With that, Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.

BREAK IN TRANSCRIPT

Ms. FOXX. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

My colleague from Massachusetts knows that every time he brags about what happened when Bill Clinton left office and we had a surplus, that he is going to get an answer to that because he knows full well that Republicans were in control of the Congress. Republicans came in control of the Congress in 1995, and they controlled the Congress the last 6 years of Bill Clinton's Presidency, and it is Republicans who created the surplus, not Bill Clinton. We have to remind them every time that they are trying to rewrite history.

And then they blame George Bush. It is so convenient to do that. In January of 2007, the month Democrats took control of the Congress again, the CBO projected the Federal Government would run a surplus of $800 billion over 10 years, covering the period 2008-2017. But they took the Congress that January and, guess what, the most recent CBO projections available project the Federal Government to run a deficit of $7.4 trillion over the same period. This is an $8.2 trillion deterioration of the budget outlook during Democrat control of Congress.

Mr. McGOVERN. Will the gentlelady yield?

Ms. FOXX. You can speak on your time, Mr. McGovern. I will let you do that.

My colleague on the other side of the aisle talks a lot about creating a nanny state, taking care of people from birth until death. That's not what the American people want. We see that over in Europe, and it has failed. What the Federal Government does and what school children should learn, if they learn the Preamble to the Constitution and if they read the Declaration of Independence, is that we are here to secure the blessings of liberty for the people. Creating a nanny state does not secure the blessings of liberty for the people.

He talks about how we are not now talking about numbers, but we are talking about ideology. I am happy to debate ideology with my colleague from Massachusetts any day. The American people do not want taxpayer-funded abortions. That's part of what we are talking about. That's part of our ideology. No, we should not be taking money from hardworking Americans and using that money to fund the killing of unborn babies. That is our ideology. Again, the majority of the American people agree with us, and we are going to stand on that ideology every day.

The American people have, Mr. Speaker, the right to a fact-based conversation on the budget. We demand an end to budget gimmicks and accounting tricks used every year to make budgets look responsible when in fact they add to the debt. That is part of our problem with what President Obama is recommending. He wants us to take mythical numbers that he projects instead of real numbers that we have been using.

Passing a short-term measure is a step in the right direction to cut spending while keeping the government open, but it is far from being enough. Excessive government spending has economic consequences for all Americans: higher cost-of-living, higher interest rates, higher taxes. But, Mr. Speaker, we didn't get into this overnight and we will not get out of it overnight. Investors in small businesses need confidence that Congress will use commonsense American principles to cut spending and ensure a secure economic future.

The Republican budget resolution can create 1 million private sector jobs over the next year. We are not going to create these high-paid government jobs that our colleagues have created. America's solution for job creation won't come by raising taxes to pay for even more wasteful Washington bureaucracy. Democrats tried that approach with the stimulus, and it failed.

Republicans, on the other hand, estimate that with the Path to Prosperity budget resolution introduced this week and passed out of the Budget Committee, wages will go up by $1.1 trillion over the next 10 years, yielding an average increase in income of $1,000 per year for each American family.

Mr. Speaker, we need to do in this House what the American people expect us to do: be reasonable stewards, responsible stewards of their money and adhere to the ideology which has made this the greatest country in the world.

I reserve the balance of my time.

BREAK IN TRANSCRIPT

Ms. FOXX. I yield myself the balance of my time.

As our colleague across the aisle said, ``Here we go again.'' Here we go again with the Democrats misleading the American people about what this rule is about, what this bill is about, the underlying bill. Mr. Dicks said he wanted the rule as it is. Our colleagues across the aisle don't want us to be able to take up another bill in case there is an agreement with the President on a long-term CR.

There is only one rider on this bill, Mr. Speaker, and that is to not allow taxpayer funding for abortions in Washington, DC. My colleague across the aisle says national security should include paying for all of these government programs. The Federal Government is the only branch of government that can handle national security, and that means funding our troops. That's exactly what this underlying bill does.

Mr. Speaker, also our colleague says, ``It's time for people to read the bill.'' How interesting that when they were in control, they didn't want anybody to read the bills, and they said you wouldn't be able to know what was going to be in the bill until after it was passed.

I'm sorry, Mr. Speaker. There are words for that. I'm afraid I should not use those on the floor today for fear it might slow down our debate here.

But I want to say that I am particularly concerned that our colleagues have brought up the issue of values. I'm pleased they brought up the issue of values.

Our colleague from New Jersey says what this is, it's about the value of Medicare. Well, Mr. Speaker, it shows what they value are government programs. What we value are life and freedom. There is a distinct difference, Mr. Speaker, in the values of the two parties in this country--one wants more government funding, one wants government control of our lives; the other wants freedom for the American people and life for unborn children.

Mr. Speaker, they are misleading the American people. There's nothing about Medicare in this rule or in this underlying bill.

We've discussed at great length why America needs this rule and this bill. In the face of a government shutdown, our economy is struggling, people are looking for jobs, they demand accountability and belt-tightening in Washington, DC. They need the Federal Government to stop draining job-creating resources from the private sector to fund misguided adventures in social engineering. They demand action. They deserve answers.

It's for these reasons I urge my colleagues to vote for the rule and the underlying bill so we can begin to restore the trust Americans have in their Federal Government and restore this economy.

The material previously referred to by Mr. McGovern is as follows:

An Amendment to H. Res. 206 To Be Offered by Mr. McGovern of Massachusetts

(1) In section 1, insert ``and any amendment thereto'' after ``ordered on the bill''.

(2) In section 1, strike ``and (2) one motion to recommit'', and insert:

``(2) the amendment printed in section 3, if offered by Representative Dicks of Washington or his designee, which shall be in order without intervention of any point of order and shall be separately debatable for 30 minutes equally divided and controlled by the proponent and an opponent; and (3) one motion to recommit with or without instructions''.

(3) At the end of the resolution, add the following:

``Sec. 3. The amendment referred to in section 1 is as follows: .....''.

Strike all after the enacting clause and insert the following:

That the Continuing Appropriations Act, 2011 (Public Law 111-242) is further amended by striking the date specified in section 106(3) and inserting ``April 15, 2011''.

(The information contained herein was provided by the Republican Minority on multiple occasions throughout the 110th and 111th Congresses.)

The Vote on the Previous Question: What It Really Means

This vote, the vote on whether to order the previous question on a special rule, is not merely a procedural vote. A vote against ordering the previous question is a vote against the Republican majority agenda and a vote to allow the opposition, at least for the moment, to offer an alternative plan. It is a vote about what the House should be debating.

Mr. Clarence Cannon's Precedents of the House of Representatives (VI, 308-311), describes the vote on the previous question on the rule as ``a motion to direct or control the consideration of the subject before the House being made by the Member in charge.'' To defeat the previous question is to give the opposition a chance to decide the subject before the House. Cannon cites the Speaker's ruling of January 13, 1920, to the effect that ``the refusal of the House to sustain the demand for the previous question passes the control of the resolution to the opposition'' in order to offer an amendment. On March 15, 1909, a member of the majority party offered a rule resolution. The House defeated the previous question and a member of the opposition rose to a parliamentary inquiry, asking who was entitled to recognition. Speaker Joseph G. Cannon (R-Illinois) said: ``The previous question having been refused, the gentleman from New York, Mr. Fitzgerald, who had asked the gentleman to yield to him for an amendment, is entitled to the first recognition.''

Because the vote today may look bad for the Republican majority they will say ``the vote on the previous question is simply a vote on whether to proceed to an immediate vote on adopting the resolution ..... [and] has no substantive legislative or policy implications whatsoever.'' But that is not what they have always said. Listen to the Republican Leadership Manual on the Legislative Process in the United States House of Representatives, (6th edition, page 135). Here's how the Republicans describe the previous question vote in their own manual: ``Although it is generally not possible to amend the rule because the majority Member controlling the time will not yield for the purpose of offering an amendment, the same result may be achieved by voting down the previous question on the rule ..... When the motion for the previous question is defeated, control of the time passes to the Member who led the opposition to ordering the previous question. That Member, because he then controls the time, may offer an amendment to the rule, or yield for the purpose of amendment.''

In Deschler's Procedure in the U.S. House of Representatives, the subchapter titled ``Amending Special Rules'' states: ``a refusal to order the previous question on such a rule [a special rule reported from the Committee on Rules] opens the resolution to amendment and further debate.'' (Chapter 21, section 21.2) Section 21.3 continues: ``Upon rejection of the motion for the previous question on a resolution reported from the Committee on Rules, control shifts to the Member leading the opposition to the previous question, who may offer a proper amendment or motion and who controls the time for debate thereon.''

Clearly, the vote on the previous question on a rule does have substantive policy implications. It is one of the only available tools for those who oppose the Republican majority's agenda and allows those with alternative views the opportunity to offer an alternative plan.

Ms. FOXX. I yield back the balance of my time, and I move the previous question on the resolution.

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