Representative Martha Roby (AL-02) made the following comments today regarding H.R. 1473, the Department of Defense and Full-Year Continuing Appropriations Act for 2011, which was approved by the House of Representatives by a vote of 260-167.
"Today House Republicans passed the largest reduction in federal spending in modern history. This bill--the result of countless hours of tough negotiations with Senate and White House leaders--reduces federal spending by nearly $40 billion and decreases America's debt by more than $315 billion over the next decade. Additionally, the bill guarantees funding for our military families through the end of the year. Today's vote represents a strong opening shot in the larger battle to restore fiscal responsibility in Congress.
"Although many of us would prefer that the cuts go even deeper, I am confident that Republicans leveraged our majority in the House to achieve the largest possible cuts while avoiding an economically dangerous government shutdown. There is only one reason why the bill does not reduce spending further: Senate Democrats blocked more cuts. We cannot impose our will on Senate Democrats or President Obama, and--as long as they are in power--we will have to fight for every dollar of spending cuts.
"The six-month Continuing Resolution debated over the last few weeks is just the tip of the iceberg. Republicans must now stay on the offensive, taking the momentum from this victory into the more consequential debate over a long-term spending plan for our nation, where we will debate trillions--not billions--in cuts.
"I look forward to proudly casting my vote tomorrow in favor of the Republican budget, authored by House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan, which would cut $6.2 trillion in spending, lower taxes, and repair Medicare so that it is available for future generations of Americans. Reforming entitlement programs, reining in discretionary spending, and paying down our debt are the big picture issues that conservatives have been waiting to tackle. The passage of our transformational budget tomorrow will represent a major step toward those goals.
"By the end of the week, Republicans will have fundamentally shifted the conversation in Washington from "increasing spending' to "cutting spending,' and we will have established the ideas of less government, lower taxes, and less debt as the driving principles in this budget debate. Because of the new Republican majority in the House, the big spenders in Washington are on the retreat."