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Mr. SIMPSON. I thank the chairman for yielding.
Madam Speaker, many Members of Congress, myself included, recognize that if we want to get our economy going again we need to take steps to get our fiscal house back in order and provide certainty to the marketplace so small business and job creators can begin hiring again.
Until we finish the regular appropriations process for the coming year, we won't be able to implement the necessary spending reductions and policy reforms needed to get our economy moving again.
While the House has come close to passing all of the appropriation bills out of committee and many of the bills on the floor, the Senate has passed only one bill so far. This CR gives us time to complete that work, while cutting current spending. To me, that seems like a much more reasonable solution than threatening another government shutdown, which will only hurt the economy.
Congress has one responsibility each year, and that is to pass the 12 appropriations bills by the beginning of the year. That job has been made harder this year by the fact that the previous majority did not complete their work by the end of 2010.
But I've got to tell you, in all honesty, this debate has almost been bizarre to me today. People have asked me whether we need to offset emergency spending, and I said emergency spending does not have to be offset. But if you can find the offsets to do so, why not do so? And that's what we've tried to do in this bill.
This debate seems to me almost devoid of the fact that we are $1.5 trillion in debt this year. The gentlelady from Texas, in the debate on the rule, said, we're nickel and diming those that are suffering from disaster, and that we shouldn't be nickel and diming.
I don't know, but in Idaho, $1.5 trillion, or the $1 billion that we're offsetting here, is not nickels and dimes.
The gentleman from New Jersey said people need relief now in New Jersey. They are going to get relief when we pass this bill.
The gentleman from North Carolina (Mr. Price) said, we are cannibalizing the program that we are taking the money out of. In full committee, this amendment was offered on the Homeland Security bill. This amendment was offered. There was no objection to it. It passed on a voice vote. And now we are cannibalizing the program?
We need to pass this so that we can get on and finish our appropriations bills.
The SPEAKER pro tempore. The gentleman from Kentucky has 5 3/4 minutes remaining. The gentleman from Washington has 5 minutes remaining.
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