Mr. GOHMERT. Madam Speaker, the sequestration has taken place that we were told a year and a half ago would not. The President said during the debates last fall it would not, but it has taken place, as the President traveled around the country demonizing those of us back here that were hoping for a better way to cut, hoping that something could be reached in the way of an agreement that would have given more flexibility, but that didn't happen. People were too busy going off doing other things to be here in Washington with us and work out some kind of an agreement.
One bit of good news, though: We had heard from the Secretary of Homeland Security that the lines would be long in the airport, there would be delays and there would be all kinds of problems. Initially, it was announced that FAA officials would be pulled from between 150 to 200 airports. They were going to make America feel as much pain as possible. But with all the tough news for travelers, we can all be comforted. This is dated March 5, a story by Elizabeth Harrington: The TSA was able to seal a $50-million sequester-eve deal to buy new uniforms.
So the lines will be longer traveling. We are told by Homeland Security they are going to make America feel pain because we managed to cut less than 2 percent of government spending when it's increased over 20 percent over the last 4 years, when every American who works and pays taxes had their taxes go up 2 percent on January 1. This was merely taxes going up 2 percent, giving basically a tax on government for 2 percent, the same one America suffered.
That is the same amount basically, and yet we have officials in this administration who say, Oh, no. We can't stand a 2 percent cut. Heck, here at the House itself, our budgets have been cut 11 1/2 percent over the last 2 years. We did it. And you've got TSA, you've got FAA, you've got Homeland Security, you've got people being released from custody that will put American citizens in jeopardy all to make the point that we can't live with a 2 percent cut like every hardworking American taxpayer has. At least we know that TSA will have new uniforms while the lines are getting longer.
It also is worth noting a story here by Terence Jeffrey March 4 of this year, that President Obama borrowed nearly six times as much in February as the sequester cuts all year. I recall in 2006, the last year Republicans were in the majority before Speaker Pelosi took the gavel, Democrats on this side of the aisle appropriately beat up Republicans because we had a budget, an appropriations that year that spent $160 billion more than we brought in, and we should have gotten it balanced. They were right.
I would never have dreamed that within a few years and with a Democrat in the White House, with a Democratic majority in the House and a Democratic majority in the Senate, that they wouldn't spend $160 billion more than we took in; they'd spend $1.6 trillion more than we took in. And here, with all the gloom and doom and claims of how bad it's going to be--oh, it's going to be horrible--we find out that the President borrowed $253.5 billion in one month, the shortest month of the year, February, six times more than the sequester was with all the complaints.
I have an interesting story here in Townhall.com by Heather Ginsberg: ``President Obama's Golf Trip Could Have Saved 341 Furloughed Jobs.'' She goes on to outline the millions of dollars it cost for the last golf outing. That's pretty tragic.
I think we have one of the most gracious and graceful First Ladies that we've ever had. She made a wonderful quote previously. She said:
This is really what the White House is all about. It's the people's house. It's a place that is steeped in history, but it's also a place where everyone should feel welcome. And that's why my husband and I have made it our mission to open up the house to as many people as we can.
That was our First Lady, and that was a wonderful position to take.
So I'm sure she was not consulted today when the White House in its frustration that all of us in Congress--heck, the cut we are having in Congress is going to put us around a 20 percent cut of our budget in the House. The Senate hadn't cut themselves 11 1/2 percent like we have, but we will have cut our own budget in the House of Representatives in every office at least 20 percent in 3 years' time. The President, even though his government has grown about 20 percent in 4 years, could not live with just pulling back 2 percent of that 20 percent increase.
So, today, as the story indicates from today--this is from the Washington Examiner:
Never say the White House isn't affected by sequestration. The Visitors Office just notified Congress that tours of the White House are canceled until further notice.
Due to staffing reductions resulting from sequestration, we regret to inform you that White House Tours will be canceled effective Saturday, March 9, 2013 until further notice, the White House email to legislative offices explains. Unfortunately, we will not be able to reschedule affected tours. We very much regret having to take this action, particularly during the popular spring touring season.
Well, knowing that, as the story reports here, we could have had 341 Federal employees that could have kept their jobs and not been furloughed if the President had not taken his last golf outing. It seems to me that since there are so many people coming to Washington--it appears to me as many Democrats as Republicans, possibly more--they have wanted, they have counted on the quote from the first lady. They were so looking forward to touring the White House.
I filed an amendment with the Rules Committee this afternoon so that we can work together. The amendment to the continuing resolution of funds--and I'm hoping and begging and pleading that the Rules Committee will make this amendment in order. It's an amendment to H.R. 933 offered by Mr. Gohmert of Texas:
At the end of division C (before the short title), insert the following:
None of the funds made available by a division of this act may be used to transport the President to or from a golf course until public tours of the White House resume.
That way we will both work together so the President will not be able to take a golf outing that causes 341 more Federal officials to be furloughed and lose their job, at least temporarily. Then perhaps by avoiding furloughing all these Federal employees, we'll be able to get the Democrats and Republicans across America, people that didn't even have a party because they're just Americans, they'll be able to get their tour of the White House, and all it will cost is one or two golf trips less.
With that, I yield back the balance of my time.