Words Have Meaning

Floor Speech

By:  Marsha Blackburn
Date: Oct. 8, 2013
Location: Washington, DC

Mrs. BLACKBURN. Mr. Speaker, words have meaning, and we are coming to the floor regularly to talk about the fiscal issues of our great Nation and to talk about how we should approach these.

I'd appreciate that we have everyone in the body involved in this debate, Mr. Speaker, but I want to drill down just a little bit and take a look at what we have going on out in the media and what we continue to hear from so many who are beginning to participate in this debate.

The President and some of our friends across the aisle love saying they want a clean CR. That sounds really nice. For them, they feel as if it implies that what we want is a dirty or an unclean or an evil CR, and I find their choice of words so very interesting, Mr. Speaker.

What we want is an accountable CR because, when they're saying they want a clean CR, I would encourage my colleagues to realize what they're wanting is the no-obligation loan. They want no strings attached. A ``clean CR'' means give us the money, but don't you dare expect us to be accountable for that money.

Words have meaning. When our colleagues hear that, I would encourage them to just realize that what they're really telling you is that they don't want the accountability, that they don't want the transparency. They do not want the responsibility. As we would say when I was in the State Senate in Tennessee, they don't want outcome-based budgeting; they just want to be able to spin what they can spin.

What we continue to push for is accountability, transparency, being responsible to the taxpayer and being responsible to future generations. We have to do that because the spending is out of control.

We talk a lot about the CR and the lower spending levels that are in that. Those came about because of the Budget Control Act. The fact is that we worked and got a 2 percent across-the-board spending reduction; and for the last 2 years we've been able to get the deficit, the annual spending overage, down a little bit. We were in 2010 and 2011 borrowing $3 billion a day to keep the doors open around here. Today, we're borrowing $2 billion per day to keep the doors open. We need to get to the point that we're not borrowing a single cent. We need to get to that point. Our goal, for those on the other side who can't figure out what a goal is, our goal is fiscal responsibility, fiscal endurance and sovereignty, preserving freedom, free people and free markets. That is our goal for this Nation and doing it in a responsible way.

I've got a great niece who is due this month, and when Georgia Kati Graham arrives, I don't want her to be looking at a mess of a Federal Government. Right now, her share of the national debt is $53,000. Every newborn who is going to arrive: welcome. With your citizenship, here is what you owe.

That is not responsible. It is why we come to this floor day after day. It is why we continue to say to the Senate, Negotiate with us. Work with us. Sure, let's look at the short-term funding issues, let's look at the long run. How do we preserve this great Nation? How do we get this spending under control? I would offer, Mr. Speaker, we don't do it by going out and borrowing $2 billion a day. We don't do it by having the Fed monetize $75 billion worth of debt each and every month. We do it by saying we don't have a revenue problem; we have a spending problem. And it is time that we put the components of that problem on the table and negotiate our way through it so that we're looking at long-term fiscal health and fiscal solvency, not just for this year or next year, not just for the next decade, but for the next century. Let's put our focus on how we return to certainty, how we return to predictability with our Federal regulatory agencies and our Tax Code.

The time to tackle the problem is now.

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