Today, U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-Ohio), a member of the Senate Budget and Finance Committees, released the following statement on the Continuing Appropriations Act of 2013, H.R. 933:
"Washington's pattern of reckless spending is driving our long-term debt and deficits, placing an unfair burden on our children and grandchildren. I appreciate the hard work by colleagues to try to stay within the budget caps but, as I have noted before, I oppose the budget gimmicks called ChIMPS, or Changes in Mandatory Programs. These gimmicks allow Congress to count artificial offsets against new spending, thus circumventing the spending caps by about $19 billion. I also believe that these large omnibus bills are the wrong way to implement our spending priorities. Congress should get back to regular order, including passing appropriations bills based on a budget.
"Finally, I am disappointed that in a $1,043 billion spending bill, only a handful of votes were allowed on amendments. This was a missed opportunity to find savings through duplication, inefficiency, and waste. As an example, I regret that the Senate Democrats refused to limit construction of new, possibly duplicative, NASA facilities and reinvest the savings into ongoing mission activities at NASA's 10 research centers. American families are cutting spending and making the tough choices necessary to make ends meet during this time of record debt and soaring deficits, and the federal government must do the same. Rather than spending money it doesn't have to build new facilities when other needed services are being cut, NASA should get its finances in order by supporting critical missions and personnel they already have, such as the operations at NASA Glenn Research Center in Cleveland and NASA Plum Brook in Sandusky, while downsizing unneeded facilities that are driving up maintenance costs and diverting resources away from important, existing efforts."