We’re deeming — so we can start spending. Not budgeting, spending. No restraints, no priorities — just spending.
Mr. Speaker, what we have here is a rule — not a budget — that will “deem” to the Appropriations Committee $1.1 trillion to spend on discretionary spending.
This really is an unprecedented occurrence here on the House floor because what is happening is we are marking a moment that for the first time since the 1974 Budget Act — the modern budgeting process in Congress — the House is not going to do a budget. The House is not going to do a budget. They will call this rule “budget enforcement,” but all it really is is giving a trillion dollars to the Appropriations Committee to spend.
No budget, no priorities, no restraints — just turn the spending spigot on.
Now, the Majority talks about pay-go as their budget enforcement. With all due respect, I think pay-go is a sham. Whenever it’s not circumvented, whenever it’s actually applied, it’s usually used to raise taxes on the American people.
Another problem, Mr. Speaker, is what they are talking about in this rule is the President’s Fiscal Commission will assemble and bring a recommendation in December and that will serve as our budget this year or something to that effect. I’m a member of the Fiscal Commission. I hope that we actually do come up with some concrete answers and some fiscal steps in the right direction.
But what is the Fiscal Commission? It’s a commission appointed by an Executive Order by the President of the United States. Are we saying that we are going to delegate the legislative branch’s authority and responsibility and the authority to budget and the power of the purse to an Executive Branch commission? Are we now simply saying that the President will appoint people and they will write the budget?
Whatever happened to protecting the separation of powers? Whatever happened to Congress actually doing its job? Whatever happened to actually passing a budget?
We have a very tough election year, I suppose, and people don’t want to do a budget, but they want to spend. And so for the first time, for the first time since the 1974 Budget Act was in place, the House isn’t even doing a budget.
We’re going to spend the money, but we’re not going to account for it. When you take a look at the budget that we are living under, the one that passed last year, the first Obama budget — what does that budget do? It doubles our debt in five years and triples it in ten years.
Our debt just hit the $13 trillion mark. We are watching Europe in the throes of a debt crisis. They borrowed too much, they taxed too much, they slowed down their economies and now they are in crisis mode.
Well that’s exactly what’s going to happen here if we don’t get our fiscal house in order.
That’s exactly what the credit markets are going to do to us if we don’t show we’re serious about our fiscal responsibilities.
What is this Majority doing? They are not budgeting, they are deeming. We are deeming $1.1 trillion so we can start spending. Not budgeting — just more spending. No restraints, no priorities — just more spending.
We are sending all the wrong signals to the credit markets that the Americans don’t have their fiscal house in order. Our government is not functioning because it is not budgeting. That’s a shame. We should reject this and get on to the business of actually budgeting.
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