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Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2015

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mrs. BLACKBURN. Mr. Chairman, I appreciate the recognition of my amendment, and it is only a two-line amendment.

Before I get into the specifics on that amendment, I do want to thank Mr. Dent, the subcommittee chair, and Chairman Rogers for the work they did on another issue on this bill which deals with the Department of Energy rules finalizing for ``Standards for Ceiling Fans and Ceiling Fan Light Kits'' and prohibiting money from being used on that regulation because of the impact that it would have on our constituents and on the price of ceiling fans. I appreciate the good work that they have done on that issue. I also appreciate the great work that they have done on this bill.

Mr. Chairman, we have got a $34 billion bill in front of us. I so appreciate the work of the appropriators as they have approached this and the responsible manner that they have gone about in bringing this bill forward. It is a bill that is going to spend $50.5 million less than in 2014. That is a good thing. The appropriators are to be commented for that. In addition, it is $326.9 million less than what the President wanted. All of those are the facts and figures.

Tonight, this two-line amendment that I have says this is great work, but we have got problems. When you look at the economic situation in this country, when you look at what is happening with our debt, as we are pushing toward that $18 trillion in debt, you have to say: How is it fair for us to keep borrowing money, borrowing money and spending it on Federal programs that are going to be left for our children and grandchildren to pay for? These are programs that many of them will never use. They are programs that will have outlived their usefulness by the time my two grandsons earn their first paycheck. By borrowing and not continuing to cut a little bit more and a little bit more, what we are doing is passing the bill to them. It is passing the buck onto future generations to pay for it.

My amendment is another 1 percent across-the-board cut. It would be another $341 million in savings. What it says, very simply, to all of our agencies that are involved in this bill, everybody, a penny on the dollar; just reduce your spending by one penny on a dollar. Get in here, challenge yourselves, challenge your employees to save a cent, one penny, out of what they have been appropriated. Do it responsibly. And do it not only for the sovereignty of this Nation; do it for our children and our grandchildren. Don't burden them with debt.

What is happening with all this Nation's debt is the ultimate cap-and-trade. What we are doing is capping our children's future and trading it, trading it.

While there has been tremendous work done and our Republican-led Appropriations Committee is doing work which never has been done and reducing this spending and pulling it back, we need to challenge these agencies to join us in this effort. Just as our businesses in each of our districts are cutting back and saving money, the Federal Government needs to be doing the very same thing.

With that, Mr. Chairman, I reserve the balance of my time.

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Mrs. BLACKBURN. Mr. Chairman, I do appreciate their arguments. I am not going to argue with much of what they had to say. Indeed, the committee has met its goal. But to say this is not the context, I would beg to differ with the gentlewoman from Ohio.

If we wanted to spur energy production in this country, the President could go out here and do a one-stop shop. He could lift the ban on leases. He could open up U.S. production and exploration. Yes, there is a way to do that, and we would love to see him do that rather than restricting energy production.

When it comes to across-the-board cuts, whether it is a Democratic Governor like in Missouri with Nixon or when you have Cuomo in New York, they have done across-the-board cuts. Why do they do them? Because it works. It spurs economic growth.

Go back to 1964 with Johnson and the Revenue Act. Why did they lower unemployment and generate revenue growth? Because they cut Federal spending.

There is a benefit to getting your fiscal house in order. While we may have set a goal and met that goal, which I applaud, I continue to say it is not going to be enough while we continue the deficit spending. It is time to get our fiscal house in order.

I yield back the balance of my time.

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