U. S. Rep. Marino said Saturday's early-morning House vote to approve a budget agreement gives military families peace of mind and paves the way for the new Congress to focus on setting its own agenda.
"I am glad that our men and women in the military will receive their paychecks without disruption," Marino said hours after voting in favor of H.R. 1363, a budget agreement that represents the largest spending cuts in American history. "This lays the groundwork for our next step, to start cutting trillions from the federal budget, not billions."
The House approved the measure by a 348-70 vote early Saturday morning after the Senate passed the agreement on a voice vote shortly before midnight.
The provisions of the agreement call for immediate cuts of $38.5 billion in federal spending, the largest in American history, in terms of dollars, and funds the military through fiscal year 2011.
Marino said the budget impasse and the irresponsibility of the previous Congress was a "leftover" obstacle the new legislators had to handle before setting their agenda.
"I look forward to putting this behind us and getting to work on our own agenda, by starting from scratch on a budget for fiscal year 2012 that reflects the goals and principles of this new Congress.
"The budget impasse was something we inherited, a financial mess that we had to handle before we could get to the goals we set when we took office."
That agenda, Marino said, includes deep cuts in federal spending, reviews of wasteful and duplicative expenditures, cutting away at the national debt and deficit, and making existing government programs more efficient.
One of Marino's top priorities is to repeal or defund last year's massive health care legislation, referred to as ObamaCare. Provisions of this recent deal include a ban on taxpayer-funded abortions in the District of Columbia, a $2 million voucher program for low-income students in the nation's capital, and a commitment to hold a straight Senate vote on whether to repeal ObamaCare. The House has already voted to repeal the measure.
"That is a big triumph for those of us who see ObamaCare as the jobs-killing disaster it is," Marino said. "We could not get Harry Reid to even put it to a vote. Now, every Senator will have to face his or her constituents on ObamaCare. It was passed more than a year ago and most lawmakers had no idea what was inside it. Every day we learn of something that was hidden inside of it and much of it is not good."
Marino said more than 1,000 entities that have sought exemptions from the implementation of the health care law. He cited hidden provisions like the recently repealed IRS Form 1099 regulation and changes in the student loan process as topics that have nothing to do with health care.
"A year ago, Nancy Pelosi said they would pass the health care bill first to see what's in it," Marino said. "I'd guarantee that many Senators who voted for it last year are finding out what's inside the law and are just as dismayed as the rest of us. Besides, the American people are more aware of what the law is all about and the Senators will have to answer to them."
Marino said having the 2011 budget behind them will pave the way for the House to begin work on Rep. Paul Ryan's "Path to Prosperity," a sound blueprint for fiscal year 2012.
He also said the issue of funding the military during a government shutdown should be resolved.
"Having just spent time with the troops in Afghanistan and Iraq I am glad that we are not turning our backs on them," Marino said. "There was no way I was going to shut down the government and prevent our military from getting paid. "I heard from the wife of a man serving in Afghanistan who said that the troops went to the field on Friday worried about their families," he said. "That is disgraceful."