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Public Statements

Executive Session

Location: Washington, DC

EXECUTIVE SESSION -- (Senate - June 28, 2006)


Mr. COBURN. Mr. President, I am going to take a few minutes. I am very happy with the support of the Senator from Illinois for the nomination of Mr. Paulson, but I challenge what was just said.

There is no question we have deficits. There is also no question that on 9/11, we experienced a great economic shock and we had a recession that was big. The tax cuts have led to the highest revenues this Federal Government has ever had.

On the spending side, I find it somewhat curious, the Senator from Illinois ranks No. 6 in the most spending voted for in the Senate last year. He ranks No. 8 in the cosponsorship of the most new spending outside the appropriations bills. You can't have it both ways. You can't complain that we are in deficits and we are in debt and never vote to lower the spending, never vote for amendments that trim wasteful spending, and then complain that somebody else made you do it.

If we look at the voting record on appropriations bills, there are not very many noes coming from that vote. The way we control spending--and we have proven it on our committee, the Federal management oversight committee--we identified over $200 billion worth of waste. If we want to balance the budget, let's have everybody on both sides of the aisle voting to trim the waste, fraud, and abuse out of the Federal Government, rather than when we go to a conference or a meeting with the President when there is excess money and demanding more spending, not less.

The numbers are fairly revealing. Last year, Senator Durbin sponsored $93 billion in new spending--new spending, outside of what we did on appropriations. He put his name to spend $93 billion, and he put his name to trim $100 million. That is the problem we have. It is not taxes, it is wasteful spending and the idea that the only way we can accomplish something is to spend more money.

I am for the same priorities. We need to help the people who need help in this country. But we will never be able to afford it in the future without stealing from our kids if we don't do the hard work to get rid of the waste now, and that means voting against appropriations bills, not voting for them. The President signed what the Senator from Illinois voted for.

I thank the Chair.

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