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Public Statements

Week in Review 7/19 to 7/23


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Waste Reduction

I am confident that most of you have seen the signs stationed by highway and infrastructure projects that read "Project Funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act." What you may not be familiar with, however, is the exorbitant amount of tax-payer money that has been spent on these policy advertisement signs.

Around the country, the stimulus advertisement signs vary widely in cost -- at Dulles International Airport in the Washington, D.C., area there is a sign that was estimated to total $10,000, however most signs cost around $1,000. Overall, it is estimated that $20 million of stimulus money was directed toward the propaganda-building stimulus signs. There is no doubt in my mind that this money could be redirected and better be used for actual transportation and infrastructure projects that benefit all Americans.

To address this mismanagement of funds, I have co-sponsored legislation that seeks to amend this wasteful spending. Representative Aaron Schock (R-IL) introduced H.R. 5679, the "End the Stimulus Advertisement Act." H.R. 5679 seeks to prohibit Federal funding for any additional stimulus advertisement signs and would reduce every Federal Agencies' budget by the amount that they already spent on these signs.

To read the full version of H.R. 5679, please click here.

As this Congressional session continues, I will continue to look for ways to reduce and eliminate wasteful spending. Please know that you too can be a part of this process by voting on initiatives that you think are noteworthy by visiting the YouCut website by clicking here.

Protecting Life

Since 1996, Congress has prohibited taxpayer funds from being used to perform abortions in domestic and foreign U.S. military facilities. Unfortunately, the Senate Armed Services Committee recently approved an amendment to the FY2011 National Defense Authorization Act that would overturn this long-standing prohibition and allow military physicians to perform abortions on U.S. military property.

I joined over 180 of my colleagues in sending a bipartisan letter to the House and Senate Democrat and Republican leaders asking that they reject any attempt to allow military medical facilities at home and abroad to be turned into abortion clinics.

Hard-working American taxpayers should never be forced to subsidize the killing of innocent human life in the form of an abortion. I fought hard to prevent President Barack Obama from allowing taxpayer dollars to fund abortions through his ObamaCare bill, and I will fight just as hard to stop this misuse of taxpayer funds.

Read the bipartisan letter in its entirety here.

Unemployment Insurance

This week, Congress once again approved an extension of unemployment benefits through November 30, 2010, for those individuals who are still eligible for the maximum 99 week period. Let that number sink in for just a moment. 99 weeks is only 5 weeks shy of 2 full years of receiving unemployment checks from the state and Federal government. For those Americans who continue to find themselves without work after 2 years of repeatedly applying for and being denied job after job, I think it's fair to say that the Obama Administration's Stimulus plans have failed and we must rethink our current strategy of simply extending a program of free Federal dollars. Unfortunately, too many Congressional Democrats refuse to do so.

What's worse than extending a failed policy? Extending one that we will ask our children and grandchildren to pay for. This recent unemployment extension will cost American taxpayers $33.9 billion -- a cost that we will add to our national debt because President Obama and Congressional Democrats refused to cut spending on useless Stimulus programs in order to pay for Unemployment Insurance. More money added to the debt only creates a greater tax burden for generations to come. President Obama has been trying to talk tough on over spending in recent months, but it's time to stand strong for fiscal responsibility, the President and his party have faltered once again.

To read my floor statement on unemployment extensions, please click here.

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