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Public Statements

Concurrent Resolution on the Budget for Fiscal Year 2012

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Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. GARRETT. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself 1 minute.

Mr. Chairman, I rise today in support of the Republican Study Committee's substitute that is now on the floor. This substitute amends and builds upon the great work of Chairman Ryan and the entire House Budget Committee.

And while I do come to the floor and support Chairman Ryan's proposal, the RSC wanted to put forth a proposal on the floor today that went even a step further. We named our budget today the Honest Solutions budget because we know that what we are proposing will not be easy. Why? Because real solutions are not necessarily easy solutions. But given the dangerous conditions of our Nation's fiscal situation, we must recognize that tough choices must be made and must be made now.

The RSC believes that we can do better than any of the budgets on the floor today. So we have a budget that will, first of all, ensure that our Nation spends responsibly by freezing total discretionary spending at 2008 levels. The RSC budget further ensures that our Nation's security will be met by meeting Defense Secretary Gates's defense request. The RSC budget puts nondefense discretionary spending on a sustainable path.

In addition, the RSC budget strengthens Medicare's long-term finances. And most importantly, our budget, unlike any other budget on the floor today, will balance within our lifetime.

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Mr. GARRETT. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself the balance of my time.

So we stand before you, as I said before, with clear distinctions on the course that this country will lead in the future. Shall we continue to make the same bad policy that we have made in the past which sets us on a fiscal crisis, which not only this side of the aisle but the President of the United States recently stated as well?

Or should we change the direction of the ship of State? Should we direct ourselves on a path towards fiscal sanity? Should we go in the direction that every single family in this country has to go in, that is to say, that we will live within our means, that we will not put an additional burden on our children and our grandchildren?

Shall we go in a direction that we can say to the seniors 60 years of age or older that we will not change your entitlements, we will not change your health care but, rather, that we will put in place today's programs that will make sure that they are here for you and for your children and future generations as well?

Shall we go on a path that says to our children of today and of tomorrow that we will not put additional burdens onto you today or in the future by putting in programs that we cannot afford?

The Republican Study Committee chooses the latter. The Republican Study Committee decides that we should live within our means. The Republican Study Committee ensures that our Nation spend responsibly by freezing the total discretionary spending at 2008 levels, ensures our national security by meeting Defense Secretary Gates' defense request. Our budget puts non-defense discretionary spending on a sustainable path for the future.

We reduce unnecessary mandatory spending other than Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security as opposed to what my friends on the other side of the aisle say. We strengthen Medicare's long-term finances. This budget would slowly phase in increases to Medicare eligibility and make it stronger for the future.

And most of all, unlike any other budget that will come to the floor today, this budget will actually balance, we will actually come with a balanced budget within the lifetimes of all the Members here sitting today.

Mr. Chairman, we believe that the solutions outlined in our budget proposal will put our Nation on a greater, surer footing, address the fiscal crisis and set the course for dynamic innovation, job creation, and economic growth for the future.

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Mr. GARRETT. I thank the gentleman.

Mr. Chairman, I rise in opposition to the Democrat substitute amendment. Let me just quickly here sum up. The Democrats' prescription, if you will, for our Nation's fiscal troubles basically includes what? More spending, more debt and more taxes, more taxes on hardworking families and small businesses. And so while the Democrat budget has lower deficits than, well, the President's budget, you really need to take a closer look at how they achieve this and how they achieve the deficit reduction compared to the White House's budget.

Let's take a look at it. First, well, they raise taxes again. How much? By $208 billion more than the President's budget on all Americans. Then what do they do next? They cut the defense budget. By how much? By $614 billion again relative to the President's budget over the 10-year window. Now, at the same time, you already had Secretary Gates who has said that we need to cut the Defense budget by $78 billion. They want to cut Defense by $614 billion on top of that.

What about in addition to that? Well, in their budget, if you go into it and look, there's about $400 billion in unspecified savings. Unspecified? Here at the 12th hour they still can't decide how they want to try to rein in spending? Of course not, because they really honestly don't want to do so.

I believe that budgets must be credible, and the Democrats' budget doesn't pass that test at all. The only specific savings in the budget come from how? Raising taxes again on Americans and cutting the defense budget. The Democrat budget does not tackle even the drivers behind our deficits. What are they? It does not address the pending bankruptcy--yes, bankruptcy--of Medicare and Medicaid. The Democrat budget is nothing more than punting, which is exactly what the administration and the White House have been doing as well.

Now, look, the American people want Congress to do the right thing. The American people want us to get spending, want us to get deficits, and they want us to get our debt here in Washington under control, just as American families have to get their spending, deficit and debt under control, just as small businesses across this country have to get it under control. The Democrats' budget is frankly an embarrassment and shows that the other side is not serious about taking our fiscal challenges seriously.

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