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Mr. BOOZMAN. Mr. President, I want to commend the majority for finally allowing us to have this debate. This is the first time since I was elected to the Senate that we will have the opportunity to vote on a Senate budget resolution. The budget they produced is far from what our country needs, but the fact that we are having this debate today is a very positive step in the right direction.
Passing a budget is the basic principle of a government. For too long now, Washington has been operating without one. The American people don't have this luxury. Arkansans ask me, almost daily, how we can spend money we don't have because they can't. They are forced to live within their means while Washington isn't. So I am pleased to see we are putting an end to this unacceptable trend.
Unfortunately, this budget plan falls far short of what we need to get our fiscal house in order and get our economy back on track.
At a time when we need to put Americans back to work, the majority has offered a budget that makes jobs disappear. At a time when we need to cut spending, the majority's proposal increases spending by 62 percent over the next decade. At a time when we need comprehensive reform to ease the tax burden hard-working Americans face, the majority raises taxes another $1.5 trillion. And at a time when we need to be paying down the national debt, the majority's budget adds another 7.3 trillion to it.
I can tell you what the people of Arkansas think about this budget. Our State is required to balance its budget. Every year, the legislators who serve in Little Rock have to make the difficult decisions that come with that obligation. They make it work. Washington can too.
We need to stop looking to the Federal Government to solve all our problems. The majority's budget proposal not only perpetuates the myth that big government is the answer, but it doubles down on it. It is time to empower the American people by passing a budget that is a blueprint for economic growth and prosperity, rather than bureaucratic growth and massive debt.
Focusing on a progrowth budget is the only way we will speed up the slowest economic recovery since World War II. We aren't going to get there by continuing to do the status quo. It hasn't worked.
I don't say all of this to cast doubt on anyone's intentions. I believe everyone in this Chamber is working for what they believe is in the best interest of the American people. We all want to save future generations from the burden of debt; create an environment where the economy can grow; protect our entitlement programs for future generations; and create a fair tax system that allows every American to keep more of his or her hard-earned money.
These are all admirable goals. I believe they are goals every one of my colleagues would like to accomplish. And the good news is that they are achievable.
If we balance the budget now, we save future generations from the burden of debt.
If we pursue policies that focus on growing the private sector economy, we can create rising wages and better jobs.
If we address the looming crisis with our entitlement programs, we can protect Social Security and Medicare for our children and grandchildren.
If we enact comprehensive tax reform, we can ensure that every American keeps more of his or her hard-earned money and help small businesses grow.
It all starts with a responsible budget. While I am pleased we are going to have a vote on a Senate-created budget, it fails on too many levels to warrant passage. I urge my colleagues to reject the majority's budget and focus our efforts on one that will help us accomplish our mutual goals.
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Mr. BOOZMAN. Mr. President, this amendment would discourage the taking of private property to transfer to another private, nongovernmental use. It does not diminish the use of eminent domain for customary purposes, including the acquiring of property for public use, for public rights-of-way, to acquire abandoned property, or to remove immediate threats to public health or safety.
In the past, we have had significant bipartisan support in regard to protecting property rights, so I would encourage us to vote in favor of the amendment.
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