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Public Statements

Sequester Replacement Reconciliation Act of 2012

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. LANKFORD. Mr. Speaker, it is interesting just to hear all the hyperbole. As a freshman that walks in this body, I'm not used to hearing all the back-and-forth. I am used to sitting down at a table and working things out and actually going through the facts. It's always fascinating for me to be able to hear the speeches and to be able to hear how impressive things are when there are some simple things. It reminds me again of how difficult it really is to bring down Federal spending and to actually balance our budget when we can't agree on simple things--simple things like:

Should we write a check and mail it on April 15 to people that are here in this country illegally? Yes or no.

If people do not qualify for food stamps, should we give them food stamps anyway?

If there's a TARP program that's out there that all of us, in a bipartisan manner, have said does not work--it was supposed to give home assistance for mortgages to millions of people, and it's been a miserable failure--can we close down that program and use those dollars?

The answer seems to come back, no, no, and no. And it's this repetitive statement again and again of, if we'll just tax those oil companies, everything will be all right. Well, I'm sorry, but a $4 billion tax on oil companies, which will cause prices to increase on gasoline, does not solve a $1 trillion hole.

This is a first step. This is a beginning point to say we've got to get in balance. And this is a real, practical way to begin to deal with fraud and abuse and waste in our system and duplication in government so we do not have the across-the-board sequestration, so we do not have a big hit on our defense. We've got to solve this. And we should be able to come together and say this is waste, abuse, and fraud. Let's settle that before we deal with taxes.


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