Spending Reduction Act of 2012

Floor Speech

By:  Spencer Bachus
Date: Dec. 20, 2012
Location: Washington, DC


Mr. BACHUS. Mr. Speaker, the gentleman from Maryland (Mr. Van Hollen) says that this is political theater, that this is a waste of time. Well, let me tell you that the Financial Services Committee has cut $35 billion of unnecessary wasteful spending. We started with bailout money, $29 billion that Dodd-Frank said, if a too-big-to-fail company goes broke, we're going to pay off their creditors and counterparties. Now, didn't the American people tell us in 2008 and 2009 what they felt about using their money to bail out creditors and counterparties? People that are making $40,000 and $50,000 a year would have to help pay $29 billion.

We also do away with the HAMP program. Now, is that a waste of time, doing away with this program? The special inspector general for TARP, the Congressional Oversight Panel, and the Government Accounting Office--the Government Accounting Office, many of those employees are your constituents in Maryland--even the editorial writers of The New York Times said--now, this is New York Times. They said HAMP does more harm than good. It's a wasteful program. Even my Democratic colleagues on the Financial Services Committee said, It doesn't work, but we can make it work. Well, let's shut it down.

$2.8 billion. Is that a waste of our time today?

Third, this legislation saves over $5 billion. Is that inconsequential? Is that theater? Because it gives real accountability to a government agency that right now has not, the CFPB. They have unlimited funds. Then it takes $4.9 billion in savings from just by making reforms that this Congress, this House, voted by over 400 Members to do; but the Senate, even though this will save $4.9 billion, they haven't even taken this bill up. 414 of us voted for this bill, and the Senate hasn't taken it up. But I guess I shouldn't be surprised. As the budget chairman said, they haven't passed a budget for 3 years.

My gosh, let's quit talking about this group of Americans or that group of Americans. Let's talk about America as if it's one country. Let's don't engage in class warfare. Let's don't pit one income group or one group against each other.

We're going to take a very small step today, but it's a first step, and it's not an unimportant step towards cutting the national debt. The national debt in the last 4 years has gone up 70 percent. That's a staggering amount.

Now, let me say this. Chairman Bernanke, for 6 years, but particularly the last 4 years, has come before our committee, and he said that the national debt is imperiling our economic future. Let me use his words.


Mr. BACHUS. He said:

Our economic security is at risk if we don't cut down on the debt.

Mr. McKeon was here speaking. Secretary Bob Gates said that it's imperiling our national security. Is that theater? Is the national debt an illusion? Americans don't think so, and today we'll start acting. We'll start acting. And we'll do something else: We'll cut taxes. We'll preserve those tax cuts, except for those millionaires, people making over $1 million, as Mr. Van Hollen said. We're going to let those tax rates go back up, which is exactly what Nancy Pelosi proposed. We're going to take her proposal. And, do you know, as Mr. Van Hollen says, it probably won't get one Democratic vote for something that your leader proposed 3 months ago.

That's political theater, Mr. Van Hollen.


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