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Department of Defense and Full-Year Continuing Appropriations Act, 2011

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mrs. EMERSON. Madam Speaker, when I took hold of the gavel of the Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government, I took to heart the responsibility to reduce Federal spending on behalf of future generations of Americans.

The Financial Services section of this act provides a total of $22 billion, a $2.4 billion or 10 percent reduction from fiscal year 2010 levels, and a reduction of $3.4 billion, or 14 percent, from the President's fiscal year 2011 request.

Deciding how and where to apply these reductions was challenging but necessary. Our propensity to spend now and repay later with interest has already saddled our children and grandchildren with $14 trillion of debt. As such, the funding in this act is directed at high priority programs such as court security, counterterrorism, drug control task forces, and small business assistance. Funding for new construction by the General Services Administration is dramatically reduced to gain control over the management and operation of the Federal building inventory. Other programs are selectively reduced, including programs within the Executive Office of the President and the Treasury Department because these two agencies should be the model of efficiency and economy for the rest of the executive branch.

The act measurably improves oversight and accountability of the executive branch by requiring a new annual GAO study of all financial services regulations, including the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau; a new GAO study on the usefulness and accuracy of the Consumer Product Safety Commission's flawed consumer complaint database; and the elimination of four executive branch czars who are not confirmed by the Senate and, therefore, not accountable to the people.

The act also includes $77.7 million for school improvement in the District of Columbia, including a $2.3 million increase for Opportunity Scholarships. This funding, along with the Speaker's language to reauthorize the program, will increase educational opportunities for low-income students in the Nation's capital.

This effort represents an important starting point for our committee and our Congress, and I look forward to continuing to work with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle.


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