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Public Statements

Legislative Branch Appropriations Act, 2013

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. BROUN of Georgia. Mr. Chairman, this amendment is very simple. It would reduce the proposed funding for salaries and expenses of the Congressional Research Service, or CRS, back to fiscal year 2012 levels this year.

Mr. Chairman, we have to look at savings at every line of these appropriations bills, no matter how big or small they may be. This amendment would take almost a million dollars and transfer that money to the spending reduction account. Also, keep in mind that I'm not asking to cut anything. I'm not making any single cut in funding from CRS. I'm only asking that they receive the same amount of money that they are getting this very year.

We are in far worse shape than we were 1 year ago economically. Our national debt has hit almost $16 trillion, yet this Congress continues to blow through trillions of dollars with a reckless disregard for our economic reality.

Mr. Chairman, I think CRS should have to pitch in and do their part by spending no more money next year than they're spending this year. It's called tightening the belt. Families have to do it, States have to do it, and branches of the Federal Government should also have to do it. We have to stop spending money that we do not have. I ask that my colleagues support this amendment as a step in the right direction for doing just that.

I reserve the balance of my time.


Mr. BROUN of Georgia. Well, my good friend from California said this is a decrease in spending, but it's not. It's just keeping the spending at the current levels for 1 more year. It makes sense.

We are in hard economic times as a nation. We're broke as a nation. We're spending more money than we're bringing in.

Members on both sides of the aisle certainly use the Congressional Research Service, and it's a good service for all of us. But we all have to tighten our belts. I hear Members on both sides talk about we need to make cuts, we need to balance our budget, we need to start dealing with the deficit and debt. I agree, we do.

This reminds me of some mantra that went on back during our founding period with a slightly different twist. Back in those days of founding our Nation, they were talking about taxes. The mantra was, Don't tax me, don't tax thee, tax that fellow behind the tree. Well, today it's, Don't cut me, don't cut thee, cut the fellow behind the tree. But there's not a person behind the tree.

We all need to tighten our belts. This is just a very small, not cut, but a stabilization of spending for the CRS. So I encourage my colleagues to make one small little, itty-bitty step towards financial reality and financial sanity by saying let's just freeze the spending level for CRS for 1 year.

I yield back the balance of my time.


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