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Public Statements

Spending Reduction Act of 2012

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. LUCAS. Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of this legislation.

It's no secret we're facing a severe debt crisis right now. We're at the $16 trillion mark in debt piled up. If we don't act quickly, we'll be passing a crushing burden along to our children and grandchildren. Reducing government spending is never an easy task. We face difficult choices, but House Republicans have lived up to our responsibilities to find ways to cut our costs so that we can once again live within our means.

The Agriculture Committee did its part by finding $33 billion in savings over 10 years. We did this by making credible, commonsense reforms to the supplemental assistance program, SNAP--food stamps if you want to call it that. These provisions reduce waste and abuse and close program loopholes.

I'd like to make it absolutely clear that none of these recommendations will prevent families that qualify for assistance under SNAP from receiving those benefits. Think about that. All they have to do is demonstrate their income level, demonstrate their asset level, fill out their paperwork, qualify, and they will receive their benefits. We're working hard to better target the program and improve its integrity so that families in need can continue to receive nutrition assistance.

Every one of these provisions represents common sense and good government in times of fiscal restraint. I would also like to note that the policies included in this bill are not the only changes that the House Agriculture Committee has passed that would cause deficit reduction. In July, the Ag Committee passed a comprehensive farm bill by a strong bipartisan vote, a majority of Republicans and a majority of Democrats. The bill will save $35 billion in the agricultural baseline. Our bill makes reforms to commodity programs, conservation programs, as well as significant reforms to the food stamp program.

My committee is doing everything it can to provide a variety of options for all sides and all parties to consider. We've made workable reforms to all programs within our jurisdiction, saving taxpayers billions of dollars. We want to be a part of the solution. We have proven time and time again we're willing to do our part.

Again, I urge my colleagues to adopt these reforms. Yes, it means you'll have to apply. Yes, it means you'll have to demonstrate your assets and your income. But if you're qualified, you will receive the help you need. You just have to demonstrate you need the help. Is that unreasonable?

With a $16 trillion deficit--is that unreasonable?--and with a $1 trillion annual spending deficit? Demonstrate you need the help and we'll help you. That's not unreasonable.


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