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The Department Of State, Foreigh Operations And Related Programs Appropriations Act, 2008--Continued

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC



Mrs. BLACKBURN. Thank you, Mr. Smith, for the opportunity to speak.

Mr. Chairman, what this is about is a philosophical difference of how we approach things. This is about respect for life, our's and those in other countries. I commend the gentleman on the amendment, and I do rise in support of this amendment and of the Mexico City Policy and making certain that we pass the Smith-Stupak amendment. It will strike the language that would undermine that policy.

It is not going to take away the $441 million for family planning. It is going to put a bright line of separation between abortion and family planning. The U.S. should not be in the business of exporting abortion overseas. It has been a tragedy for women here in the U.S., and it will carry the same hurt, it will carry the same trauma if it is used abroad.

So I commend the gentleman for his amendment. I rise in support.


Mrs. BLACKBURN. Mr. Chairman, this is quite a debate that we are having tonight, and I appreciate the vigor and the energy that colleagues on both sides are bringing to this debate.

Mr. Chairman, I do have to stand and really oppose some of the things that are being said here. How interesting it is that we are hearing spending reductions called irresponsible, that we are hearing that it is jeopardizing our foreign operations, that it is devastating.

You know, what we may want to do is reframe this debate. I want to commend the gentleman from Georgia for trying to make a 1 percent reduction.

Now we heard this referred to as the Matthew 25 bill. Maybe we should make it the Genesis 1:1 bill and go back and look at the beginning and talk about how did we get where we are today.

They want to talk about deficits. Well, it is historically what my colleagues on the left have done to grow a huge bureaucracy that continues to need to be fed and programs that grow and grow and grow.

Now one of the things that we have heard is that we are going to have to fix this now. My colleagues only want to talk about today, yesterday or the day before. They don't want to go back and talk about previous administrations where we have piled on, we have piled on, we have piled on, and now we want to grow this budget 9 1/2 percent. We want to pay for it with the largest tax increase in history.

I would offer to my friends that, yes, indeed, let's go back and make it a Genesis 1:1 bill and look at the very beginning. You tax too much; you spend too much. And it is right that we would choose to find a 1 percent reduction. What we are irresponsible to is the American taxpayer who is sick and tired. They are truly ill and fatigued when it comes to paying more and more of their budget.


Mrs. BLACKBURN. Mr. Chairman, I thank the gentleman from Virginia.

Mr. Chairman, as I said, what an incredibly wonderful debate we are having. It is a philosophical debate. Government is not the answer. Government many times is the problem. More spending is not the answer. It is priorities and where you choose to put that money. That is where you find your answers in this.

Now one of the things that we are saying is make a reduction. My goodness, look at the States. Many of our States have made across-the-board reductions. You know what? Across-the-board reductions work.

My State of Tennessee, oh, my goodness, we were going to have to have an income tax. Oh, my goodness, they were going to shut down every program in the State, had to have it, had to raise taxes. You know what? We defeated that income tax, Mr. Chairman. The people of our State said, no, we have had it. We are not putting another penny into the State treasury.

Now what we see is a, believe it or not, Democrat Governor who came in and took what we Republicans had said and made across-the-board cuts. Not 1 percent. Not 2. Not 5 percent. 9 1/2 percent. 9 1/2 percent. And I would encourage my colleagues to know that greater efficiencies were there, that they now have record surpluses.

One of the things that we have to realize, the American taxpayer is tired of sending money to Washington and see it go into a bureaucracy and know that they are not seeing the results that they get.

Mr. Chairman, maybe it is because I have the old Davy Crockett district. I know that what you have to do is be very careful with the money that you have to spend. You have to make priorities.

And yes, indeed, national security is a priority. We know that. We know that border security is a priority. We know that. But what we have to realize is we have to be a good steward of the taxpayer dollar.

Maybe it is time for the bureaucracy to start to tighten its belt. Maybe it is time for the bureaucracy to realize it cannot grow. Maybe it is time for the bureaucracy to realize we need to be responsible to the taxpayer and reduce what we are spending at the Federal level. They are tired of paying for the largest tax increase in history. They know that government spends too much. They know that this budget is bigger than it ought to be, and they don't like it, and we are hearing about it.

What my colleagues and I are saying is, you know what, let's find some ways to make some reductions. Let's make certain that we are good stewards of every dollar that comes our way.


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