Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act

Floor Speech

By:  Paul Broun
Date: June 27, 2012
Location: Unknown

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Mr. BROUN of Georgia. My amendment would reduce the proposed funding for salaries and expenses of the Office of Public and Indian Housing by $6.5 million. This is one of 13 offices which would receive increases for administrative expenses in the underlying bill.

Madam Chairman, we're in an economic emergency as a Nation. We're broke. We absolutely must stop spending money that we don't have. We're borrowing 40 cents or more on every dollar that the Federal Government expends. Raising the funding for the Office of Public and Indian Housing by $6.5 million while we're broke makes no fiscal sense to me.

This particular increase is among the highest for all the offices funded under this legislation. My amendment would simply freeze funding for this office for this next year. Passage of my amendment would bring this account back to this year's FY 2012 levels.

I urge support of my amendment, and I yield back the balance of my time.

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r. BROUN of Georgia. My amendment would reduce the proposed funding for salaries and expenses for the Office of Community Planning and Development by $3.5 million.

This amendment, like the ones I presented last night and the one I just presented, would freeze the funding for these offices. I've heard my good friend from Iowa and my good friends on the other side talk about how the underlying bill has cut expenses for this whole underlying bill, but here in the House of Representatives, we've reduced our expenses by over 11 percent. It seems to me that it just makes fiscal sense to freeze funding for these offices in the underlying bill and not raise them.

We're in an economic emergency as a Nation. We are spending money that we simply do not have. We've got to stop the outrageous spending that's going on here in Washington, and I'm just asking a simple thing: let's freeze all of these offices at the current year's levels for 1 more year. Hopefully, next year we'll have policy put in place that will increase our economy and start creating jobs here in this Nation, but we're not doing that this year with this administration and the policies that we see in the other body on the other side of the Hill.

So let's just freeze the expenses of this office, and I'm proposing to freeze the expenses of virtually all the offices in this bill--most of them, anyway--and my amendment would bring the spending level that's proposed back to the current spending level of 2012.

When families and businesses get overextended, they don't continue to raise their spending levels, and we should not be raising this one either. My amendment would just freeze it at the current spending levels.

I urge support of my amendment, and I yield back the balance of my time.

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Mr. BROUN of Georgia. Madam Chair, my amendment would reduce the proposed funding for salaries and expenses of bureaucrats here in Washington at the Office of Housing by $5 million. That's absolutely correct.

This amendment, as well as all of my amendments, will not cut the programs. It will not cut the programs one iota. What this does is it reduces the salaries.

I just heard my good friend from Massachusetts talking about Federal bureaucrats getting raises. I have frozen the salaries of people who work for me, and I know many Members of Congress have, for the last 2 years. Why should we be giving Federal bureaucrats more money when the American people are not getting raises? It makes no sense to me, particularly as we are in an economic emergency. We are spending money we don't have. We have to stop the outrageous spending that's going on here in Washington. Enough is enough. And raising this office, as well as all these offices, above the 2012 makes no economic sense to me whatsoever. Let's be fiscally responsible.

My good friend from Iowa, who I have the utmost respect for, has done a tremendous job in this bill, and I do appreciate the tremendous hard work that he and his committee has done. And I appreciate the $4 million that they've cut. But why raise the salaries of Federal bureaucrats?

My amendment would simply reduce the proposed funding back to the 2012 levels. I urge support of my amendment, and I yield back the balance of my time.

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Mr. BROUN of Georgia. Madam Chairman, again I rise to propose an amendment just to freeze the salaries of this Office of Policy Development and Research by a mere $115,000.

Madam Chairman, I hear colleagues around here talking as if millions of dollars, tens of millions--hundreds of millions of dollars is nothing. Well,
most of my constituents at home in Georgia, most Americans think that $1 million is a lot of money, and I certainly think $1 million is a lot of money. But we have proposed, in this underlying bill, to raise the administrative expenses and salaries.

My good friend from Massachusetts, in the previous amendment, said we need to increase the salaries of the bureaucrats. I hope my good friend from Iowa (Mr. Latham), when he stood up on the last amendment saying that we weren't going to increase salaries of Federal bureaucrats, is factual. I hope that that goes in the Record and it becomes true that we're not going to raise the salaries of Federal bureaucrats.

But they're proposing raising the administrative expenses and salaries in all of these offices, so I'm proposing just to freeze these expenses for 1 more year. Let's bring this account back down to this current year's levels of spending.

We cannot continue on this road.

Madam Chairman, I'm a medical doctor. As a medical doctor, part of my medical practice for many years has been involved in treating addictions, drug and alcohol addictions. In addiction medicine, we have a saying: When there's no denial, there's no addiction.

Congress and government have a spending addiction. It's a spending addiction, and there's a tremendous amount of denial here in this city--in all branches of government, actually. We need to face the fact: We're broke as a Nation. We've got to stop the outrageous spending.

I'm proposing just a mere $115,000 to freeze the expenses for this office and salaries for this office for 1 more year. I don't think that's too much for me to ask. I don't think that's too much for the American taxpayer, the hardworking American taxpayer to ask for us to freeze the salaries of these bureaucrats here in Washington and freeze their expenses for 1 more year--not only for this amendment, but for the amendments that I've already presented and the ones that I will present. Let's freeze this spending for 1 more year, keep it at the FY 2012 levels.

I urge support of my amendment, and I yield back the balance of my time.

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Mr. BROUN of Georgia. Madam Chair, again I rise just to freeze the funding for salaries and office expenses for the Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity by a meager $304,000. If we cannot cut out $115,000 or $304,000, what are we going to cut?

And as my friend from Massachusetts already said, actually, on two of my amendments, that it's to increase salaries of Federal bureaucrats. We've got to freeze the salaries of these bureaucrats. We've got to be fiscally responsible.

My amendment doesn't cut any program, doesn't cut any service, doesn't cut out any part of the necessary aspects of the Federal Government. All it does is it freezes the salaries and the expenses of this office, as the other amendments would do. It freezes it at this year's levels. Doesn't even go backwards, freezes it at this year's levels.

I urge support of my amendment, and I yield back the balance of my time.

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Mr. BROUN of Georgia. Madam Chairman, the underlying bill is suggesting that Congress allot an increase of $110 million in Federal funding for the Public Housing Capital Fund from this fiscal year, from fiscal year 2012.

My amendment would simply freeze funding at our current level and reduce the proposed funding by $110 million. We've got to stop spending. That's what all my efforts are geared towards. We can continue to perform the necessary functions of the Federal Government for those who need it. My amendment would just freeze the proposed increase in funding so that we keep it at this current year's level.

I urge my colleagues to support this very simple amendment, which would save over $110 million for the hardworking taxpayers of America.

I yield back the balance of my time.

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Mr. BROUN of Georgia. Madam Chairman, I was going to introduce another amendment to this same program which would have been a decrease of just 10 percent of the increase. As I see things going on here today, we can't even cut out $115,000. Cutting out $11 million, I'm sure, is out of the question for my colleagues.

Madam Chair, we've just got to stop this outrageous spending here in Washington. So I'm not going to offer the other one. I would anticipate a point of order being brought against it, and rightfully so. So I'm not going to introduce that amendment.

I just ask my colleagues--and I hope that they hear from Americans all over this country--to stop the spending.

With that, I yield back the balance of my time.

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Mr. BROUN of Georgia. Madam Chairwoman, the underlying bill increases funding for the public housing operating fund by over $500 million for fiscal year 2013.

My amendment would simply return the funding back to this year from the proposed levels. It's a $500 million increase at a time when our Nation is broke and American taxpayers are struggling to put food on their tables and looking for jobs.

It is imperative that we look for commonsense cuts wherever we can, and this is one of those. It's a lot of money, $500 million. Some would say it's a very small amount compared to the overall funding level proposed in this bill, but it's still $500 million. We just have to stop spending money that we don't have.

I urge my colleagues to support this very simple amendment that would save over $500 million, and I yield back the balance of my time.

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r. BROUN of Georgia. Mr. Chairman, my amendment would reduce the proposed funding for salaries and expenses for the Federal Maritime Commission by $900,000. This is not a cut. This is just to keep those salaries at what they are, to cap it at the 2012 levels. This is one of 13 offices that would receive increases for salaries or administrative expenses in the underlying bill.

I urge the support of my amendment, which would just freeze these salaries.

I yield back the balance of my time.

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Mr. BROUN of Georgia. Funding for the Neighborhood Reinvestment Corporation is over $12 million higher than what the President's budget request was. Now, the President and I don't typically see eye to eye on most spending issues, but I am proud to support his requested level of funding for the Neighborhood Reinvestment Corporation.

By supporting my amendment, why don't we show the American people that we are serious about our Nation's fiscal crisis and that both parties are capable of working together by setting the funding back to the President's requested funding level for the Neighborhood Reinvestment Corporation, which would save the American taxpayers over $12 million.

I yield back the balance of my time.

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