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Tom C.
Republican AR

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  • Concurrent Resolution on the Budget for Fiscal Year 2014

    by Senator Tom Cotton

    Posted on 2013-03-19

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    COTTON. Mr. Chairman, I rise in strong support of this budget resolution.

    I just want to take a moment, too, to applaud the chairman and the members of his committee, and especially the hardworking staff of his committee for producing this document--a mere little band of less than 30 staffers.

    By contrast, the President, with all the vast resources at his disposal in the executive branch, is now, I think, into the sixth week beyond his deadline in which he cannot pass his own budget. I assume that he will one day submit something. I hope that we will have a chance to vote on it. I will be curious to see if our colleagues on the other side of the aisle can produce more than the zero budgets that his budget produced last year.

    The Senate, however, is even worse. They haven't produced a budget in 4 years. After seeing the budget that they will vote on, I now know, perhaps, why they did not produce such a document. It has over $1.5 trillion in new taxes, almost $1 trillion that are recognized, almost $500 billion to replace sequestration in unspecified closures of so- called loopholes, and another $100 billion in unspecified closures for new and ultimately failed stimulus spending.

    And it never reaches balance--ever. The only thing we hear from balance on the Senate or the President is as a euphemism for new tax increases.

    Finally, I want to point out that the last time the Senate passed a budget 4 years ago, I was a captain in the United States Army sitting at forward operating base Mehtar Lam in northeast Afghanistan. And I want to specifically single out the defense measures in this budget and to applaud, again, the leadership of the chairman and the Budget Committee for protecting our military, for giving it funding that it otherwise would not have and the flexibility it needs to help protect and keep this country safe. The Defense Department is the one area in government where the strategy should drive the budget, not the budget drive the strategy.

    And the second way that it protects our military is from a debt crisis. This budget, as we have heard, is designed to postpone and ultimately prevent a debt crisis caused by out-of-control reckless spending in anemic economic growth of the kind you have seen in countries in Europe already.

    If that were to happen, not only would it impact families all across the country when their interest rates for mortgages and farms and small businesses and education increase, but it also would crowd out all other kinds of priorities in our Federal budget. So it would immediately impact, as well, our troops, their families, and our veterans.

    {time} 1640 Mr. VAN HOLLEN. Mr. Chairman, actually the Republican budget does follow some of our European friends, but follows them in the wrong way.

    The strategy places like the U.K. have followed is an austerity approach--immediate deep cuts. And guess what that did? That sent them back into a recession. And again, the umpire around this place, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, said that if you take the approach in our Republican colleagues' budget, you'll have 750,000 fewer jobs by the end of this year. That is not a growth strategy. We cannot afford, here in the United States, the European-style austerity plan that is hurting those economies.

    With that, I yield 2 minutes to the gentlelady from California (Ms. Waters), the ranking member on the Financial Services Committee.

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