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Mrs. EMERSON. Mr. Speaker, I rise not only in strong support of the rule but also in strong support of the continuing resolution.
The American people didn't send us here to pass promises. They didn't ask us to start making tough choices next year. There is always next year, but our effort to rein in the size, scope, and cost of the Federal Government has got to start right now. This continuing resolution honors our commitment, starting with funding for the remainder of the 2011 fiscal year.
As chair of the Financial Services Subcommittee of the Appropriations Committee, I want to say that our financial services section contains a total of $20.4 billion, which is a $3.8 billion, or a 16 percent, reduction from fiscal year 2010 levels, and a reduction of $4.9 billion, or 19 percent, from the President's fiscal year 2011 request.
Reductions of this magnitude are really challenging but are very necessary given the fiscal situation facing the Nation. Priority funding in this bill is focused on the most essential programs, such as security for the courts, counterterrorism, financial intelligence operations, as well as drug task forces. Yet other programs can easily achieve the new efficiencies this fiscal environment demands, especially at the executive office of the President and the Treasury Department. These agencies should set an example for the rest of the executive branch by recognizing significant budget savings.
For the IRS, the committee believes the agency can achieve efficiencies and has reduced its funding accordingly. In addition, the bill prohibits the IRS from using CR funding to implement the 1099 provision in the health care reform act, which would cause great harm to our small businesses.
It also requires the GSA to become more efficient, and it eliminates funding for construction or major alterations to Federal buildings that have been earmarked in the past by Congress and by the President.
Government has to be accountable to the people and so must government spending. This bill strikes that balance, and it makes priorities at a time when our Congress and our country must begin to face some very tough choices.
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