Lewis Opposes Continuing Resolution – Says the Measure Continues Democrats’ “Unsustainable and Unrestrained” Spending
WASHINGTON, D.C. – House Appropriations Committee Ranking Member Jerry Lewis opposed a stop-gap government funding bill on the House floor tonight, indicating the legislation will continue the Democrat Majority’s “unsustainable and unrestrained” spending. The legislation, called a “continuing resolution” (CR), is necessary due to the failure of the Democrat Congress to enact any of the 12 annual Appropriations bills to fund government operations for the next fiscal year.
The full statement by Lewis follows:
“Mr. Speaker, by any definition, this year’s appropriations process has been a complete and utter failure. The current fiscal year ends tomorrow and to date, only two spending bills have cleared the full Appropriations Committee and passed the House. In two of the last four years under Democrat control, Congress has failed to enact a single appropriations bill by the beginning of the new fiscal year.
“It’s now certain that any further consideration of the ten unfinished spending bills is unlikely this year, leaving a massive, end-of-the-year omnibus bill as the most likely course of action following the November elections.
“The omnibus would be the latest in a long list of big money bills passed by this Congress—on top of health care reform, Stimulus, TARP, and too many bailouts to mention by name—over the loud objections of House Republicans. Taken together, these costly measures have cemented this legislative session’s reputation as the most expensive in our country’s history.
“According to CNN, this Democrat-controlled Congress has committed our country to at least $11 trillion in bailout spending alone over the last two years. Let me repeat that: Over eleven TRILLION dollars in new bailout spending in just two years paid for by the American taxpayer.
“It’s this spending by this Administration and this Democrat-controlled Congress that has resulted in historic deficits and record levels of debt. Add to this spending the potential cost of Cap and Trade legislation, more costly regulations on small businesses, and the prospect of higher taxes on all Americans at the end of this year, it’s no wonder that our country is facing 10 percent unemployment.
“This is the most pro-spending, pro-regulation, anti-small business Congress in memory. What company or small business wants to hire anyone in this environment?
“This record is all the more striking when you consider the fact that the House has spent week after week, month after month, considering hundreds of insignificant bills while ignoring the substantive work required of Congress each year to pass a federal budget.
“This Continuing Resolution would have been the Democrat majority’s last hope of telling voters that they’re listening to the public’s concern about out-of-control spending—and yet, one more time, they have turned a deaf ear. If voters need any additional motivation to go to the polls in November, this Democrat-controlled Congress has certainly provided it.
“While I recognize the need to keep the government running in the absence of any spending bills being enacted, I cannot and will not support this CR because it continues unsustainable and unrestrained levels of spending established last year. Republicans have, and will continue, to advocate for lower spending that is nearly $100 billion below the current level set by Chairman Obey and the White House.
“We should pass a bill that includes these reductions while maintaining the essential functions of government until Congress completes this year’s budget. This CR as presently written fails that critical test.
“In closing, I want to applaud the Senate for resisting the temptation to add a variety of legislative items and billions in additional spending requested by the Obama White House. At a time of extreme spending fatigue, it’s simply unacceptable to use a must-pass CR as a legislative vehicle for more wasteful federal spending or completing an array of unfinished political business before the election.
“Mr. Speaker, I don’t believe we should shut down the government. But voters are telling Congress that Uncle Sam needs a diet. At a time of historic deficits, record debt, and 10 percent unemployment, I believe we owe our constituents more than the status quo. There’s no question that we can keep government running and spend far less of the voters’ money than we’re presently spending. I urge a ‘no’ vote.”