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Providing for Consideration of S. 627, Budget Control Act of 2011

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. WOODALL. I very much thank the chairman for yielding.

That's right, 7 months--7 months.

I'm one of the new guys on Capitol Hill, and I ran for Congress to do exactly what we're doing down here today.

There are going to be a lot of folks down here with accusations and recriminations. I just want you to know I'm going to be the guy down here with a smile on my face because today is why I came to Congress.

Seventy-three times, I'm told by folks who have been here longer than I, this Congress has taken a withdrawal out of America's ATM.

Mr. DREIER. Will the gentleman yield?

Mr. WOODALL. I would be happy to yield to the gentleman from California.

Mr. DREIER. I thank my friend for yielding.

I just wanted to say it's 74 times.

Mr. WOODALL. Seventy-four times. I appreciate the chairman for correcting me. Seventy-four times that America's ATM card has been stuck in, no funds to withdraw, and yet cash has been dispensed. And not once, I'm told by my friend from New York, not once have we ever tied any spending decisions to increasing America's credit line. That's outrageous. That's outrageous.

But today we do. Today we do. Today we say the buck stops with the 112th Congress. The buck stops with us.

Mr. DREIER. Will the gentleman yield again?

Mr. WOODALL. I would be happy to yield to the chairman.

Mr. DREIER. I've just been informed by the staff that both the gentleman and I are wrong, Mr. Speaker. It's 75 times that this has taken place. I've just been told by the Congressional Research Service. So we're just being very modest in our assessment of it so far. But we're up to 75, as of right now.

Mr. WOODALL. I thank the chairman.

Mr. DREIER. I thank my friend for yielding.

Mr. WOODALL. That almost takes the smile off my face. Can you believe that? Seventy-five times this Congress, the people's House, the most responsive body we have in Federal Government, has reached in with that ATM card and taken that money out, with absolutely no funds on deposit. Again, the buck stops today.

Now, in fairness, Mr. Speaker, this bill does not do everything I wanted it to do. I wanted more. And each and every time we've had an opportunity--we had an opportunity in H.R. 1, that continuing resolution we passed. A great process, a great debate, great conclusion. This does not go as far as the House budget--the budget that we passed that day.

Mr. Speaker, you remember we considered absolutely every budget that any Member of Congress brought to the floor of this House. We decided on one. This doesn't do as much as that did. But you know what this does do? This says we're not going to increase the credit line by a penny unless we're cutting a penny too, because the problem in this town, I have learned, Mr. Speaker, in 7 months, is not that we don't spend enough. It's not. And that's a legitimate disagreement I have found that we have. But it is not that we don't spend enough. The problem is that we spend too much.

Mr. Speaker, do I wish that we were doing more in this bill today? Yes, I do. But I smile with pride because we could have been yet another Congress, Congress No. 76, where we just kick the can down the road and accept no responsibility at all. We don't do that, Mr. Speaker. The buck stops here. I'm in strong support of this rule.


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