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Public Statements

Full-Year Continuing Appropriations Act, 2011

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. LEWIS of California. Mr. Chairman, I very much appreciate my colleague for yielding me this time.

It has been suggested by more than one person, not just today but also a moment ago, that we are headed towards a cliff in terms of our financial circumstances. It could take our country to bankruptcy and create a circumstance from which we would, perhaps, never come back.

To suggest that this substitute makes sense really baffles me. I've been told by the Speaker that the gentleman from Ohio is a very thoughtful Member and will contribute a great deal to our committee, which he has and is; but across-the-board cutting in an effort to make sense out of our spending process makes no sense at all. We are elected to look at the whole mix and to pick winners and losers, to decide what programs should be cut significantly, and to decide which ones should be eliminated. Indeed, that is part of our work.

In this substitute, essentially we are taking all the work we've done these last several days and kicking it out the door. These efforts on the amendments were not worth any time at all. We shouldn't have been here these last several days. If this amendment is successful, there is just one thing that it does that is bothersome to me but which illustrates the point:

This amendment would provide $1 billion below our CR in terms of Homeland Security. That is 2.6 percent lower in funding for those people who are protecting the border. To suggest by way of this substitute that we can eliminate 1,000 of those people who are on the border is ludicrous in my judgment.

Indeed, it is our responsibility to select winners and losers, and this substitute is a waste of our time if we are serious about changing the direction of our country. So I would strongly oppose this substitute.


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