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Public Statements

Balancing the Budget

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC

Mr. SESSIONS. Mr. Chairman, I want to thank you today for your strong leadership and the leadership of other members of this conference for bringing forth a discussion about a balanced budget for the United States of America. In fact, the United States Congress has brought up this issue before, and it has been debated and discussed obviously since not just the time of the signing of the Declaration of Independence, but for many, many years afterwards.

Mr. Speaker, I would say to you today that every single Member of this body should recognize the times that we live in are unlike any that this great Nation has ever seen.

We find that we are in the midst of a threat of outside forces against the United States. We find ourselves in a time of war. We find ourselves in a time when we have political unrest with thousands of people encamped in our cities who are displeased with the direction that this country is going. We have millions of people, some 14 million people who are unemployed in America, some 6 million who are underemployed in this country.

We've seen out-of-control spending that has taken place from a Federal Government that is not accountable. They tax too much, they spend too much, and they listen too little. We have leaders of this country who are not honest in speaking to the American people about not only the truths of each party and what they stand for, but who I believe mislead others about the things for which they stand for themselves.

We find ourselves at a time in this country where we are faced with a $14 trillion debt that is growing every single day. In fact, if any American looks at the debt clock, they will see that it's spinning wildly out of control.

Mr. Speaker, I did not come to this body, nor probably did others, to think that they would be here to manage our demise. We come to Washington full of hope and opportunity, with the expectations to further the dreams of the American people, to further dreams for an experience that would allow us to enrich our lives but also to leave that that would be the best for the next generation. As an Eagle Scout I grew up scouting and understanding that you should always leave your circumstances better than what you found it.

Now, I'm well aware that the President of the United States, President Obama, keeps talking about that this is a vision that he has about a direction, but there is no end in sight to the damage and harm, the carnage that is being laid to this country as a result of economic demise. But what I would say, Mr. Speaker, is there are others who have traveled down this road ahead of us, and we are watching them today and we've been watching them for years as the very fabric of their countries becomes torn apart.

The essential ingredients that made those countries strong, not that put them on the map, but that gave them a heritage, a meaning and a national purpose, they are now seeing with this current generation are falling apart. I would say as my message today I stand strong with Bob Goodlatte and Randy Hultgren. We have Brother Rokita here, we have Scott Garrett from New Jersey, and we have even a Member from as far south as Mississippi, Steven Palazzo, who are going to come forth on this floor and talk about the need for America to gather itself with discipline and strength to add to the spirit and the resiliency of the American people, that of entrepreneurship, that of tough love and hard work that will make this country stronger and better.

I stand here, Mr. Speaker, as a result of understanding, as other Members of this body that have circumstances that are very similar to mine. I have a future that I want to leave better than what I found it. I have two sons, one that's in the top 2 percent academically of students in this country, and one that is in the bottom 2 percent of students academically. And the future of this country is very important to them, perhaps more important than mine was to me.

But on my son who is in the top 2 percent academically, Bill, the future of his American Dream is being threatened because he wants to be a physician. And physician after physician, those in the health care field, are saying, Bill, don't do that. This is his dream. On Alex's side, as a Down Syndrome young man, he is faced with a sure future where he will be competing against all of us for the needs that he should have as a disabled young man that should be the mission statement of this government. Yet, the Federal Government will be incapable and unable to perform because they are trying to take on everybody, and thus they will not do their job right.

Former Senator Phil Gramm from Texas would speak about this often years ago when the same threat of a Clinton health care plan existed. Now it's the law. And Senator Gramm would talk about that, that little red wagon that is designed for just a few people that the Federal Government should get it right and support with government assistance--those with a physical or intellectual disability, those who are seniors like our parents, yes, my parents at 81 years old who have served this country so well, so honorably and deserve a chance to be in that wagon in their latter years and, lastly, those who are too poor to take care of themselves.

Mr. Speaker, this balanced budget will ensure that we try and create a mission statement with this Federal Government that is not about expanding itself to where it is not within a mission statement, but one where it is within a mission statement where we are going to require the Federal Government to do a few things and do them well, because we're not going to have the money unless we give it to them through economic growth. And with economic growth, people can have their own dreams and not depend on government.

So why we're all here today there could be different reasons. But it will boil down to this: that the men and women of this body, some of whom I have spoken about, including the gentleman from Alabama (Mr. Brooks) who's joined us, are here for a mission and a purpose, and that is to join with Chairman Bob Goodlatte from Virginia and say to him that we want to leave America a better place than what we found it; and we believe bankruptcy debt, misery, and loss of jobs is not the right future.

I heartily sign back up for this important effort again, which I led in '97, '98 and '99. I, once again, sign my name to that pledge. I am for a balanced budget to leave America a better place than we found it. I thank the gentleman for yielding me time.

Godspeed and good luck, Mr. Chairman.

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