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Providing for Consideration of Senate Amendment to H.R. 2642, Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2008

Location: Washington, DC



Mr. RYAN of Wisconsin. I thank the gentleman for yielding.

Madam Speaker, I come to the floor today in strong opposition to this emergency supplemental spending bill that not only would bust the budget with billions in nonemergency spending, but it would also raise taxes on small business. I can't think of a worse time to implement a tax increase, with a weak economy that is struggling to create and grow jobs.

Republicans will not support this bill. The President will veto this bill. Yet the Democratic leadership brings it to the floor and continues to play politics with funding for our troops.

The President's request, submitted 15 months ago, was for $108 billion. The Democrats, once again, can't help themselves. And they have added an additional $6.6 billion of this. And to add insult to injury to the American taxpayer and our troops in harm's way, this amount actually reduces the President's request by $3.5 billion.

I guess that's what you get when a bill is written unilaterally and in secret.

If the majority brought us a clean supplemental with just funding for the troops, it would undoubtedly have been passed with a big bipartisan vote and sent to the President before Memorial Day so there is no disruption in funding. That should be what we're doing, and not playing politics with funding for our troops.

That is what a majority would do if they were serious about passing a bill and not playing politics.

But that is not what the Democrat majority has done here. Instead, 15 months after the President asked for the troop funding, the majority has brought a bloated bill to the floor that will cost the American taxpayer $250 billion over the next decade.

This is a bill they wrote in secret, without allowing committee markups, while only allowing Members 18 hours to review a bill that would provide an amount equivalent to 26 percent of the spending in last year's regular appropriation bills, and without allowing the full House to work its will in an open and Democratic process.

It violates the budget passed by the majority by adding $6.6 billion to the amounts assumed for the war supplemental for the House-passed budget resolution. And the Democratic leadership has decided to lard this bill up with $66 billion in mandatory spending.

While they raise taxes to pay for the GI benefits, this bill adds billions in funding that has nothing to do with the war and is not fully offset.

So they say they are meeting the PAYGO rules. But they don't meet it for all the other spending in this bill. Mandatory spending does not belong in war emergency supplementals. The mandatory provisions in question deserve serious debate as stand-alone bills.

Why are they hiding this in a war supplemental? They should be proud of these provisions and let them withstand the full light of day through the regular committee process. And if increasing spending by over $66 billion wasn't enough, they are proposing to raise taxes on Americans as well, to tax and spend rather than paying for this increase with reductions in other spending.

The last thing we ought to be doing today is raise taxes. They will say this is a tax on millionaires. But this tax is going to hit small businesses. These are the job creators in America. This is the worst thing we can do as this economy is struggling.

Yesterday the House waived the PAYGO rule to give farm subsidies to millionaires.


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