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Public Statements

H.R. 3582 and H.R. 3578

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC

Mr. HOLT. Mr. Speaker, I want to register my opposition to H.R. 3582, the so-called ``Pro-Growth Budgeting Act of 2011,'' and H.R. 3578, the ``Baseline Reform Act of 2011.''

Once again we, Mr. Speaker, spend time on another set of partisan process bills that do nothing to help us reduce the deficit and pay down our national debt. Instead, they do quite the opposite--they make it more difficult.

Mr. Speaker, in the 1990s, Congress balanced the budget. Moreover, we had a budget surplus. It did not require a balanced budget amendment or an overhaul of our budgeting process. It required some sensible decisions by Members of Congress and the President to match our taxes and our expenditures. The rules aren't broken, Mr. Speaker--Congress has simply failed to follow the rules that we have. In his testimony before the Budget Committee, Former Budget Committee Chairman Jim Nussle, a Republican, said just that. ``It may not be that the budget process is broken,'' he said. ``It may not be ..... that tools are broken, but it may be the fact that the tools are not even being used.''

Any plan for deficit reduction must be comprised of spending cuts and revenue increases, yet H.R. 3582 attempts to hide that fact. It is designed to obscure the impact of tax cuts on the deficit. The majority simply wants to help its case for passing large tax cuts while disguising the actual costs of those cuts. Despite the rhetoric that has been thrown around this body, tax cuts do not pay for themselves.

Mr. Speaker, H.R. 3578 is just as unnecessary and, frankly, misleading. The majority wants to change the calculation of the discretionary baseline. It wants to include the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest in the permanent baseline for all federal budgeting. This also eliminates the budgetary tools currently in place which account for increased costs in future years, thus resulting in an effective cut of 20 percent from all programs, including military pay, without any thought about need or funding priorities.

Mr. Speaker, these bills constitute solutions for problems that do not exist, and will only serve to make things worse. They will not solve our debt and deficit problems and they will not create a single job. Moreover, the current system works--it has worked for us in the past, and it can work for us again now if we stop the political gamesmanship and come together to find commonsense solutions to get our fiscal house in order.

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