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Public Statements

Government Shutdown Prevention Act of 2011

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. CANTOR. I thank the gentleman from Georgia for yielding.

Mr. Speaker, as we debate the future course of government spending, we need to be honest with the people of this country about the current fiscal state of affairs.

America averages now trillion-dollar deficits. We borrow nearly 40 cents of every dollar we spend. Given the fiscal cloud that hangs over our country, it is reckless to assume we can live pain-free forever. Sooner or later, something has to give.

To give families and business confidence that their future won't be plagued by inflation, higher taxes and higher interest rates, our majority vowed to move forcefully to cut spending. We made clear that only by putting Federal spending on a sustainable trajectory could we create the conditions necessary for growth and job creation.

During our 3 months in the majority, we have delivered on our promise. Six weeks ago, after 47 hours of debate, we passed H.R. 1 to fund the government for the remainder of the fiscal year and save taxpayers $61 billion relative to current spending. In a more open process than the House had seen in 4 years, we allowed the other party to offer countless amendments. And over the past month, we have passed two continuing resolutions that have cut $10 billion in spending. All along, Mr. Speaker, we've practically begged President Obama and Senate Democrats to get serious and come to the table with a legitimate proposal. But we got nothing in return. No legislation. No credible plan to cut spending.

Mr. Speaker, I want to underline the fact that we do not want a government shutdown. Yet as Senate Democrats refuse to pass a bill, that unsettling prospect now looms ever larger, which is why they must act.

Today, we are bringing a bill to the floor that makes clear that continued inaction on the part of the Senate Democratic majority is simply unacceptable.

Finally, this bill also ensures that going forward, should there ever be a government shutdown, that Members of Congress and the President will not get paid. If we can't do our job, why should we get paid?

Mr. Speaker, funding the government at the levels passed by House Republicans might not be what Senator Reid wants, but surely even he would agree that it's a better alternative than shutting down the government. I urge my colleagues to support this bill.


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