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Public Statements

Tricking the Public is Obscene

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC

Mr. CLEAVER. Mr. Speaker, funding the military is imperative, and supporting our troops at home and abroad is fundamental. But overfunding it at the expense of vital domestic programs is irresponsible.

The Defense appropriations bill is $8 billion more than the agreed-upon level set by the Budget Control Act. This means that real programs in our home districts, which many of our constituents rely on, will be cut or go unfunded.

Every family in this Nation knows what it is to make a budget and the reasons behind needing it. This bill blatantly ignores the need and purpose of a budget. Certain aspects of this bill are hundreds of millions of dollars above requested levels. If a family tried to live like that, they would be in dire straits.

Designating money when it is above and beyond what is needed is nothing more than a gratuitous earmark. Now, I am in favor of earmarks; I'm just not in favor of trying to trick the public. I believe that earmarks are right. It is our constitutional responsibility as Members of the House. But tricking the public by adding $8 billion more is obscene.

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