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Providing for Consideration of H.R. 2112, Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2012

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. KINGSTON. I thank the gentlewoman for the time.

I want to say to my friends from Texas and Connecticut that, number one, the DeLauro amendment which you alluded to that increases WIC $147 million is intact, and that increase has gone on. We do have to offset it from another portion of the bill, and the reason is because that Brazilian cotton agreement was a WTO agreement that President Obama agreed to. The money is restored. So if that helps clarify things, and if not, let me know.

I want to just remind everyone, if you want to help hungry people you've got to have the money to do it. Now, both parties have overspent. For every dollar we spend, 40 cents is borrowed. Both parties. Under President Bush, in an 8-year period of time, the debt went up $3.5 trillion. Now, under President Obama, in a 3-year period of time it's gone up $5 trillion, a 56 percent increase. And President Obama now owns the wars in Iraq and Libya and Afghanistan in terms of this is his watch. He has had opportunity to change the direction. He has not done so. So let's quit hiding behind, We're at war, and therefore, it's the Republicans' fault.

I also want to remind my friends that the only budget that has passed either House is the Ryan budget, which is what we're operating under. The President of the United States' budget failed on the Senate floor 97-0. He did not even get Harry Reid's vote. So we're operating under the budget constraints that we have.

Let me say this--very important about the WIC program. From February 2010 to February 2011, the number of participants has dropped 300,000. The level now is 8.7 million. We will make sure no one falls through the cracks. There are three contingency funds which can be drawn on if that happens. And I want to point out for all the screaming and hollering and the self-righteousness, last year the Democrats cut WIC by $562 million and put the money into an unrelated account that had nothing to do with hunger. It was a political settlement. Where was the screaming and hollering then?

And I want to say this in terms of the World Food Program, if we want to help these countries--and I am committed to it--we have to have our own financial house in order. Otherwise, all we're doing, Mr. Speaker, is borrowing from our children to feed children overseas. That does not make sense.

I appreciate it, and I urge everyone to support the rule.


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