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March 18, 2011

It Is Time for the Senate to Act

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The SPEAKER pro tempore. Under the Speaker's announced policy of January 5, 2011, the gentleman from Mississippi (Mr. Nunnelee) is recognized for 30 minutes.

Mr. NUNNELEE. Mr. Speaker, it is time for the United States Senate to act. The Democrats in the United States Senate, the Democrat leadership in the United States Senate, have failed the American people.

Last year when the Democrats controlled the House of Representatives, the Senate, and the White House, their leadership failed to adopt a budget. In fact, for the first time since adopting the Budget Act of 1974, the House of Representatives failed to pass a budget. Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid left our country in a mess. Today, we are operating without a long-term spending plan. It must stop.

Earlier this year, a new majority came in to the House of Representatives; and under the leadership of John Boehner, this new majority adopted a long-term spending plan that would outline the priorities of our government through September 30 of this year.

In this very Chamber, we stayed up late at night for four nights in a row. We debated and we hammered out a long-term spending plan. That plan included the largest cut in spending in American history.

[Time: 17:50]

We defunded Planned Parenthood, we defunded NPR, we defunded ObamaCare. We placed significant restraints on regulatory agencies that have gone out of control, such as the EPA. And then the bill moved down to the Senate, and the Senate has failed to act.

Since then, in order to give them more time, we have granted two budget extensions, one for 2 weeks and then earlier this week we extended it for 3 more weeks. But included in those budget extensions were $10 billion worth of spending cuts. While we have offered those temporary extensions, the permanent plan that has passed this Chamber still languishes in the Senate. The leadership of that body has not passed our spending plan, or, for that matter, any spending plan.

We are waiting. But, more importantly, the American people are waiting. We cannot negotiate with silence. If they don't like our spending plan,

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then let them put forth one of their own. But it is time for the Senate to act. These temporary extensions are no way to run a business, and they are certainly no way to run a country.

Earlier this week our negotiators asked for 3 more weeks. Since we have only been in office for a little over 10 weeks, I thought it was wise to grant that extension and I voted for it.

Here the House has been doing the work of the American people. We have passed H.R. 2, the bill that repeals ObamaCare. We have defunded ObamaCare in its entirety, including the $105 billion of preapproved spending; and we are moving forward. In fact, I don't think we should stop until ObamaCare is completely defunded. The House is working on legislation that will eliminate permanently that mandatory slush fund, and I hope we will vote on that in the upcoming weeks. But it is time for the Senate to act.

America wants real spending reform so that we can give businesses large and small the confidence they need, the predictability they need, and they can go out and be about the business of creating jobs that will grow our economy. It is time for the White House and the Senate to listen. House Republicans can only do so much. We only have control of one-half of one-third of the government, so we cannot act by ourselves. It is past time for the Senate to act.

Over the next 3 weeks we will be waiting, and we will be watching, to negotiate a long-term solution that will get us out of this mess that they left us in when they concluded last year.

(House of Representatives - March 17, 2011)

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