Lewis Responds to President Obama’s Announcement of a So-Called “Spending Freeze”

Apr 12, 2011
Press Release

Lewis Responds to President Obama’s Announcement of a So-Called “Spending Freeze”
Warns That More Must be Done to Control Unsustainable Budgets
WASHINGTON, D.C. – House Appropriations Ranking Republican Jerry Lewis issued the following response the President’s announcement regarding his plan for non-defense discretionary spending:
“I look forward to working with President Obama on implementing a responsible budget plan, and I urge the Democrat leadership in Congress to do the same. However, while this is a good first step, it is essentially nibbling around the edges of the problem. We must go much further in order to put the nation back on a sustainable budget path.
“This so-called freeze doesn’t take into account the vast majority – nearly seven-eighths – of the federal budget. It doesn’t apply to the exploding costs of mandatory and entitlement programs, the potentially debilitating costs of a health care “reform” bill, a “cap and trade” bill or other pending authorization bills, nor would it control the extraordinary spending approved by the Democrat majority under the guise of economic “stimulus.”
“The enormous non-defense domestic discretionary spending levels approved by the Democrat Congress and President Obama are unprecedented - a nearly 22% increase not including the massive “stimulus” legislation. It appears the President’s proposed plan will only perpetuate these large levels and maintain unsustainable budgets in virtually every government agency.
“We must go further to rein in this spending. I urge the President and leaders in Congress to support a rescission package to reclaim some of the wasted “stimulus” money sitting unspent in federal coffers, and reduce the huge increases in discretionary spending approved last year.
“In addition, I remain concerned about the details of the President’s plan. I hope the term “spending freeze” isn’t simply being used as a euphemism for budget gimmicks and accounting maneuvers that will continue to promote soaring deficits and debt. I also hope that the President and Democrats in Congress will extend this newfound commitment to controlling deficits to any emergency or supplemental spending bills. It would indeed be a shame if budget savings are made invalid by massive unrestrained spending in yet another flawed “stimulus” bill.
 “The American people are sick and tired of the government recklessly spending their money with unprecedented abandon. They want and deserve real results from investments made with their limited tax dollars, strong curbs on debilitating national deficits and debt, and freedom from suffocating government regulation. Only then can our businesses have the resources and stability to create new jobs, and with that our country can begin on a solid road to economic recovery.”
Note: As Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee in 2006, Lewis enacted a non-defense discretionary spending freeze for the first time since the Reagan Administration. At the time, spending on these agencies and programs totaled $395 billion. Estimates on President Obama’s plan indicate continued funding for these accounts at about $513 billion.

112th Congress