December 12, 2013
"I rise today in strong support of H.J. Res. 59, the Ryan/Murray budget agreement.
"First, I would like to commend Chairman Ryan on achieving a resolution to our immediate budget challenges. It takes a good deal of courage, persistence, and dedication to reach a bipartisan agreement such as this, and we appreciate your hard work. While everyone might not like everything in it, it is the best product that is achievable right now, and I urge its passage.
"As our Budget Chairman has said, this agreement reflects a compromise in policies, but not in our conservative principles. Not only does this deal hold the line on spending, it actually puts a dent in our annual deficit – a significant accomplishment. Plus, it opens the door for future progress on the problem of runaway entitlements, and paves the way toward budget and economic stability for the next two years.
"The legislation before us will also accomplish several other critically important goals. First and foremost, it will turn off the potentially devastating $20 billion dollar sequestration cut to our national defense. Even if Congress provided what flexibility we could – which isn’t much – a cut of this magnitude would cripple readiness programs and leave us all at risk.
"Second, this bill will help allow Congress to avoid another “shutdown showdown,” and help us return to “regular order.” As I have said many, many times before, the best way to trim spending, ensure wise investments of taxpayer dollars, and provide stability for our government and our economy is to do Appropriations bills on an annual basis, as the Constitution intended.
"This budget conference agreement will now permit bicameral negotiations on the fiscal year 2014 Appropriations bills to begin, allowing my Committee to get to work and make the hard, thoughtful, responsible, line-by-line funding decisions that are Congress’s duty to make.
"It is important to remember that this is just the first step in the current budget process. My Committee will now begin to negotiate and craft an Omnibus Appropriations bill that will fund the government for the rest of the fiscal year, with the goal of completing it before January 15. The omnibus will reflect the budget outline that is in the Ryan/Murray bill before us today, and will make the hard choices to implement this budget agreement into actual funding levels.
"Mr. Speaker, this is a good bill. It makes a significant first step to putting us on a more stable and responsible fiscal path. I urge a yes vote."