Chairman Rogers: HR 1 Will Help Put Nation on “Sustainable Financial Path”
Feb 15, 2011 -
House Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers today gave the following statement on the floor of the House in support of the HR 1, the Continuing Resolution (CR) that will fund the federal government for the remainder of fiscal year 2011:
“The Continuing Resolution on the floor today represents the largest reduction in non-security discretionary spending in the history of the nation. It funds the federal government for the remainder of the 2011 fiscal year, but, most importantly, it answers taxpayers’ calls to right our nation’s fiscal ship, making specific, substantive and comprehensive spending reductions – cutting more than $100 billion compared with the President’s FY11 budget request.
“This CR reverses a trend of out-of-control Democrat spending over the last two years that has increased overall discretionary funding by 24 percent. Never before has Congress undertaken a task of this magnitude, but never before have we been faced with a deficit crisis of this scale.
“The government is borrowing over 40 cents on every dollar it spends. Our constituents sent us a clear, decisive message in the last election. They want government to spend less, stop undue interference in American lives and businesses, and take action to create jobs and get our economy moving again. Through the Republican ‘Pledge to America, we made the commitment to do just that, and today, we offer the first step in fulfilling those promises by presenting a spending package to the American people that makes deep but manageable cuts in nearly every area of the government. This bill is about shared commitments and shared sacrifice.
“Make no mistake: These cuts will not be easy, and they will affect every Congressional district, but they are necessary and long overdue.
“Although we recognize that every dollar we cut has a constituency of support – an association, an industry and individual citizens – who will disagree with our decision, these cuts are the result of difficult work by our subcommittees to make the smartest and fairest reductions possible. No stones were left unturned and no programs were held sacred. The Appropriations Committee went line by line to craft a responsible, judicious CR – one that will allow our economy to thrive, our businesses to create jobs, and our national security to be strengthened.
“Our subcommittees scoured the budget for wasteful activities and cleaned out excessive and unnecessary spending, while prioritizing the most essential and effective programs – including $460 million for accelerating the process through which veterans resolve their health care claims, and an additional $13 million for increased oversight of the Troubled Asset Relief Program.
“The CR includes absolutely no earmark funding and eliminates all previous earmark funding from fiscal year 2010, saving taxpayers approximately $8.5 billion.
“Furthermore, it includes a provision to eliminate any unobligated “stimulus” funding approved in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act – another five billion of taxpayer dollars saved. As we help put our nation’s budget back into balance, we are finding real savings that are justifiable to the American people and that will stop the dangerous spiral of unsustainable and irresponsible deficits.
“In addition, this CR is only the first of many Appropriations bills this year that will significantly trim federal spending. It is hard and fast proof that we are serious about returning our nation to a sustainable financial path.
“However, so that we can continue the important work of reducing spending in our regular budgetary work for this year, the House, Senate, and White House must come together to complete this process before March 4th, when our current funding measure expires. It is critically important that we move this CR, avoid a government shut down, and get these spending cuts passed by the Congress and signed by the President. The American people expect no less.”