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Transportation, Housing And Urban Development, And Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2008

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC



Mr. RYAN of Wisconsin. Mr. Chairman, I thank the gentleman for posing this amendment.

The reason we are here today, Mr. Chairman, is because this is overbudget. Take a look at this bill right here. It is $2.8 billion above the President's request and includes a $3.1 billion boost for the Department of Housing and Urban Development. There are also some phony gimmicks in this spending bill.

As noted, the bill provides phony offsets for spending increases by rescinding budget authority with no outlay savings. So what you are doing, you are actually canceling something that doesn't really exist to show paper savings so you can spend it somewhere else. Now, this is an old trick that has been done on both sides of the aisle over the years, but it still doesn't make it right.

The problem we have with this bill, as the preceding bills and the following appropriations bills, is it is $34 billion above last year's spending level just for what we have passed so far. That is $19 billion above the President's request. This majority's spending bills are going to be $81 billion above last year's spending level.

When you look at the budget resolution, this bill does conform to the budget resolution. It meets 302(b). What that means in budget talk is they are conforming to their budget. But what does their budget do? Their budget leads to the largest tax increase in American history.

If you accept these spending increases, which, on average, are 9 percent spending increases for discretionary spending, three times the rate of inflation, three times the rate of wage growth, three times the ability for families to be able to afford this expense, three times the rate that our family incomes go up at best, if you accept these spending increases, that means you are accepting the plan in the budget, and the plan in the budget is to raise taxes. Not by a little bit, by a lot.

What tax increases are they specifically calling for in the budget resolution that this is a part of? Getting rid of the marriage penalty, bringing it back altogether; reducing the child tax credit in half; raising income tax rates across the board for every single working American and every single working family; bringing the death tax back in full force; raising taxes on capital gains and dividends, which makes it easier for people to save for retirement, and that creates jobs.

So the problem we have here, Mr. Chairman, is not a revenue problem. We have had double-digit revenue increases coming to the Federal Government for the past 3 years in a row. The deficit just went down this year again by 18 percent because of faster revenue growth. So we don't have the problem with the money coming in. We don't need to raise taxes. Plenty of money is coming in to the coffers of Washington.

The problem we have is spending. We are just spending too much money too quickly. If we want to balance the budget without raising taxes, we have to control spending. That's the lesson we've learned.

Now, what does this bill do? This bill irresponsibly increases spending too fast. Are there important functions that are in this bill? Yes. Are there important things that the government needs to do, roads and bridges and transportation? Yes.

The problem I have with this bill is it doesn't have fiscal discipline. It doesn't contain a budget cap that makes sure we won't raise taxes.

So, by subscribing to the budget increases, the spending increases in the bill and the appropriations bills before it and the ones that are yet to come, it puts us on that glide path, on that trajectory to having the largest tax increase in American history. We don't want those taxes to be increased, and we sure don't want to support budgets that put us on the path to making it a sure thing, and that, Mr. Chairman, is why I think we should vote against this.

I think we should also have better budgeting. I don't think we should be rescinding phony budget authority to then use it for outlays. So, if we get rid of the gimmicks, this thing wouldn't even comport with the budget resolution itself.

So with that in mind, Mr. Chairman, I urge a ``no'' vote on this bill.


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