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Public Statements

Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2012

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. BONNER. I thank the chairman for yielding me time.

Back home, the American people listen to Members of Congress talk about things that are historic, about things that are important. Today, we're talking about something that's very important. Tomorrow, we'll actually be talking about voting on something that truly is historic. But for the moment, let's focus on, as my friend from Ohio just mentioned, something that this Congress has not seen since 2009, which is a conference report.

That's the American legislative system working. It's where Democrats and Republicans, Senators and Members of the House of Representatives, have come together--to produce a perfect document? Of course not. Conservatives would like to cut more. Liberals would like to spend more.

The fact is that, in this conference report, we cut and terminate 20 programs, saving $456 million. It responsibly addresses disaster spending, and many States and even more counties and cities had been affected by disasters earlier this year. It also contains a CR that will run until December 16 at fiscal year 2011 levels to allow our committee to complete its work.

It also represents an effort, I would argue, Mr. Speaker, that both House and Senate appropriators, Democrats and Republicans alike, are doing something that is responsible in order to avoid the plague of a government shutdown by reaching agreement that will put our Nation on a more fiscally sustainable path.

Tomorrow, it will be more historic in nature. Yesterday, the debt clock ticked over $15 trillion. We cannot ignore that threat. Tomorrow, we will bring to the House floor an opportunity for something that Presidents Jefferson and Reagan both envisioned: a balanced budget amendment.

Today's CR, today's minibus appropriations bill, is an important step for the future of this fiscal year and this country that we love and serve. Tomorrow will be an opportunity, for the legacy of future generations not yet born, to do something even more bold.

I thank the chairman for giving me a chance to serve on the committee, and I urge my colleagues to support the report.


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