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Mr. YODER. Mr. Chairman, I rise today in support of the Commerce-Justice-Science 2013 appropriations bill, our first appropriations bill of the upcoming fiscal year. I'd like to commend the chairman and Members of both parties in their efforts to put together some bipartisan reforms in this legislation, and also to find ways to reduce spending to get our national debt back in line.
Like many Americans, I am concerned about the national debt crisis facing this country--almost $16 trillion now in national debt that we've racked up; that is a factor now--and the economic decisions we have to make every day in this country. It will be a burden that we'll pass on to our kids and grandkids for generations to come. So any opportunities that we have to reduce spending and find ways to get our budget back in line should be supported by this Congress as we attempt to become fiscally responsible.
We've had a spending epidemic in this city for far too long, many times not finding any cure on this House floor and no support for reducing spending. So I want to commend the committee for actually reducing spending in this legislation below the 2008 levels, below the pre-stimulus levels, to try to put us back on a track towards fiscal responsibility.
It used to be in Washington the idea that a spending cut was not getting the amount of increase that you requested. You requested a 3 percent increase, you only got a 2 percent increase, and an agency felt they were cut. So we're turning that on its head. We're changing the course of business in this town and actually reducing spending from one year to the next, and it's a good first start. Certainly, there are many miles to go and additional reductions to make in all areas, but this legislation heads us in the right direction, and it does so in a responsible way. Not only does the legislation reduce spending, but it re-prioritizes spending to those things that have the greatest value to the American people and make the greatest impact on the economic challenges our country is facing.
Not only does it increase support for the FBI and different law enforcement agencies, but it also supports the National Science Foundation with an increase in spending, the Commerce Department, and our Trade and Patent Offices, those types of bottleneck agencies that make a difference on whether small business owners, entrepreneurs can create jobs and grow and expand the economy.
So we need to get Washington out of the way and create these efficiencies, and this legislation goes in the right direction towards cleaning up some of those problems and supporting the programs that have the greatest impact by re-prioritizing spending.
So if you're focused like I am on reducing spending, like many Americans are on this national debt crisis, but you also want to see Washington spend less resources on endless bureaucracy in Washington, D.C., and more on the types of programs that help Americans back home, this is the right type of legislation; it strikes the right balance.
My hope is that the two political parties can work together to support this legislation. Let's get it moving. And let's start producing the types of priorities and the types of bills that the American people want to see us continue to work on, continue to see us be productive on, working together to reduce the national debt, reduce spending, but finding ways to re-prioritize spending on those things that matter most.
I'd like to commend the chairman and the committee for working together.
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