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April 15, 2011

Historic Spending Cuts

[Page: H2669]  GPO's PDF 

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The SPEAKER. The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Texas (Mr. Olson) for 5 minutes.

Mr. OLSON. Mr. Speaker, I rise today in strong support of H.R. 1473, a continuing resolution which will fund our government and, most importantly, our troops' families for the rest of the fiscal year and will help generate a better environment for job creation.

While this final agreement is far from perfect--more cuts going forward are absolutely needed--this agreement is a victory for the American people. At $38.5 billion in cuts, H.R. 1473 represents the largest spending cut since World War II. Domestic spending will actually fall by 4 percent this year with the passage of this CR.

We accomplished this historic cut just months after President Obama asked Congress for a spending freeze. That would have meant zero, nada, nil, cuts in spending this year. In fact, our Federal Government will spend $78.5 billion less than President Obama proposed this year with the passage of H.R. 1473.

These historic cuts would not be possible without the strong and constant support of the American people to end the out-of-control spending in Washington. Their voices were heard loud and clear on November 2.

House Republicans were able to translate the people's call for reining in spending into the largest non-defense spending cut in history. Washington is no longer talking about if we should cut spending; we are talking about how much we should cut spending. This is the American people's victory, and they deserve the credit for providing the support and momentum to change our debate.

This bill is also a victory for my home State of Texas and for the good people of the 22nd Congressional District, whom I am honored to represent here in Washington. Importantly, H.R. 1473 repeals the Doggett amendment, a heavy-handed regulation that was forcing Texas, and only Texas, to violate its own constitution and spend education funds as the Federal Government dictated while giving every other State in the Nation the flexibility to spend their funds as they see fit.

The Doggett amendment, which was inserted in last summer's State government bailout bill, singled out Texas by attaching unconstitutional strings to $830 million in funding. No other State faced such treatment.

Teachers across Texas have faced the threat of losing their jobs with this expected shortfall in education money. But passage of this bill will right this egregious wrong for the great State of Texas.

Mr. Speaker, passage of this measure today means we will have succeeded in reducing discretionary spending to pre-bailout stimulus levels. We will be lowering the baseline for next year's budget, which will result in hundreds of billions of dollars in savings over the next decade.

Most importantly, we are setting the stage for the real challenge that comes next: cutting trillions in spending through the new Republican budget, the Path to Prosperity. We didn't get into this financial crisis overnight, and we are not getting out of it overnight.

But today, for the first time in years, Washington will begin to tighten its belt, just as families across America do every day. This is just the beginning of an important first step forward in changing the culture of spending the people's tax dollars with reckless abandon. America is open for business again.

I urge my colleagues to vote for H.R. 1473.

(House of Representatives - April 14, 2011)

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