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Public Statements

Energy And Water Development And Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2008

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC



Mr. GARRETT of New Jersey. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the last word.

Mr. Chairman, I come to the floor to speak in favor of this very important amendment.

Serving on the Budget Committee, as I have the honor and privilege of doing, I see the relevance of addressing such an amendment as this, that goes to the very heart of the principles that Republicans bring to the handling of the budget.

As the previous gentleman just ended his remarks, I will begin mine. What we have seen in the last several weeks with regard to the legislation that is coming down, what I have seen as a member of the Budget Committee, gives us, this House, the largest tax increase in U.S. history, a breaking of the promises under rules that have been made during the past campaign, the establishment, which we were able to defeat this past week, of the creation of slush funds to hide some of those dollars going forward.

Why is all of that relevant to the amendment that is here before us? From a very practical purpose, when a family or a small business sets about to handle its daily budget, how do they do so? They do so from a logical perspective in deciding what is in the best interest of that family as far as the purchases they make, or when a business sets out to create its budget for the year ahead and the purchases that it will be required to make.

How does it do so? It does so on a logical, regional basis. It looks out at all the purviews and the parameters of the opportunities before them, and then decides what is best for their family or for their business.

You can say a family does a competitive bidding process, although the average family probably doesn't think of it that way. When they do their shopping from grocery store to grocery store, or from Wal-Mart to Target or to Kmart or wherever else, they are, in fact, engaging in a competitive business process, business nature, if you will.

When a business does it, a small business, which is the backbone of the American economy, they engage in a competitive business bidding process as well. They know what they need in order for their business to survive in this year and this quarter and the years ahead. They know what the parameters are and the order that they must meet. They will go out and about and engage in a competition, if you will, between the options that are out there before them and decide which one works best for them, which is at the best price, which is the most economical and which is the most efficient.

If the family budget can make these decisions, if the small businesses of this country can make those decisions, then I think it's incumbent upon us here in this House, this House of the people, to make, likewise, those decisions in the same manner as well. As the gentleman from Texas often says, the focus should be on the family budget and not on the Federal budget.

Likewise, when it comes to the way we handle the taxpayers' dollars, the focus should be on the same way the family and the small business handle their budget and their procurement, instead of the role and the methods we have done in the past.

That's why I come to the floor this afternoon in support of the other gentleman from Texas (Mr. Sessions), his amendment today. Because that's simply what this amendment will do, will strike section 105 from the bill and that is the section which prohibits funds from being used under OMB's circular 876, which is basically the outsourcing proposed process: ``to process or approve a competition with regard to the Army Corps of Engineers.''

By striking this provision, OMB would be allowed to use a competitive process in conducting private-public competition to determine who, the government agency or a private business, performs certain activities. Just think for a moment, if we were to engage in such activities, how much further the hard-earned tax dollar of the American public could go in this House, in this American economy that we have. Just think how many more of these necessary programs that we are called upon to support could be engaged in and provided.

Now, I come from the great State of New Jersey, a State that oftentimes has to look to the core and to the Federal Government for various programs to provide for the health and safety of the citizens of not only my district but my State as well.

Think for a moment how much further we would be able to go in providing these services to the State in my district and my county, and through the State of New Jersey as well. Think of how much further we could go if we could be able to provide these services in a more economical and efficient basis.

The amendment before us does that. It will allow for the operation of the Federal Government to engage itself the same way as a small business does, the same way as a family budget does.

Closing then, bringing this all back to my opening comments with regard to what we have seen at the beginning of the process with the Democrat budget and what we have seen in the past several weeks with regard to the largest tax increase for the American family in U.S. history, what this amendment will do is drive down the pressure on this government to raise taxes on the backs of American families.


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