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Tightening our Belts


Location: Washington, DC

Nearly three years ago, in November of 2008, then President-Elect Obama said, "In these challenging times, when we are facing both rising deficits and a sinking economy, budget reform is not an option. It is an imperative. We will go through our federal budget--page by page, line by line--eliminating programs we don't need and insisting those we do operate in a sensible cost-effective way."

It is the same process families all over the 6th district do every day. You can't spend money you don't have so you have to prioritize.

It is time for the federal government to do the same thing. You don't have to dig very deep to find savings in Washington. Just check out these programs and tell me -- Do you think these are priorities?

* The Massachusetts Digital Games Institute at Becker College has landed a 5-year, $500,000 federal grant that will help grow the video game industry.
* $1.8 million of U.S. taxpayer dollars went for a "museum of neon signs" in Las Vegas, Nevada.
* The U.S. Department of Agriculture gave the University of New Hampshire $700,000 this year to study methane gas emissions from dairy cows.

All those zeros start to add up in a hurry and the list goes on and on. That is your money being wasted on strange and unnecessary projects.

Yet, here we are three years after the President's pledge. We are still in the midst of challenging times; we are still facing both rising deficits and a sinking economy, which is why I have joined my Republican colleagues to pass bills that would lead to real budget reform. However, the House and Senate Democrats along with President Obama and his Agency Administrators have rejected our efforts to truly reform our budget, and as far as I can tell have only increased the financial and regulatory burdens on our Nation.

Wednesday, I took part in a hearing where we tried to uncover what, if anything, the President has done to truly reform our budget and get this nation's fiscal house in order. The problem is that the people with the answers refused to come testify.

That won't deter our efforts. I am personally dedicated to cutting the federal budget. We need to restore fiscal sanity to Washington and tighten our belts. We owe it to our children and grandchildren because ultimately what we do today will affect them tomorrow.

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