Continuing Appropriations Resolution, 2014by Former Representative Eric Cantor
Posted on 2013-12-12
CANTOR. Mr. Speaker, I thank the Speaker, and I thank the
gentleman from Wisconsin.
I rise today in support of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013.
Mr. Speaker, in a divided government, the American people expect Members of both parties to come together and find common ground to move America forward. While this budget agreement is not perfect, it is a step forward towards bridging our differences and bringing fiscal responsibility to Washington.
The legislation before the House today will reduce our deficit, it will make long-term pension reforms, and it will do so without raising taxes on the hardworking middle class families of our country. This budget deal also protects our national security at home and around the world by preventing dramatic cuts to our national defense as a result of the sequester.
Mr. Speaker, I think we can all agree that arbitrary, indiscriminate across- [[Page H8078]] the-board spending cuts are not the smartest way to cut spending. Last year, House Republicans passed two bills that would have replaced the sequester's indiscriminate across-the-board cuts. This bill before us is a reflection of our priority to replace the sequester with permanent savings that will responsibly reduce our deficit.
This legislation will allow Congress to concentrate on appropriating taxpayer funds to our country's highest priorities. Let's stand together and show the American people that we are focused on reining in Washington's out-of-control spending habits while growing our economy.
Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the gentleman from Wisconsin, the chairman of the Budget Committee, Mr. Ryan, for his perseverance and his quest to rein in the wasteful spending, to work towards balancing our budget. I want to thank him for his tenacity in negotiations that he had with Senator Murray in arriving at this deal. I want to thank him and his entire committee for their hard work.
This is a bipartisan budget agreement, one that has not been frequently seen in terms of bipartisan agreement on this floor. I urge my colleagues in the House to support this agreement.
Mr. VAN HOLLEN. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
I want to emphasize a point that we both made, which is that if we had our druthers, we would have approached this issue differently.
I do want to say with respect to some of the offsets, there are many of us who would have preferred to see the closures of many special interest tax breaks as part of the offsets in this legislation. We hope that as we go forward, we would agree that that is also a kind of wasteful spending in the Tax Code. If you give a special interest in this country some tax preference not enjoyed by others, you are simply raising the burden on everybody else. It is simply a form of spending through the Tax Code.
Mr. Speaker, as we address these issues going forward, whether it is replacing the sequester or reducing the deficit, as part of a balanced approach, we think we should take those into account as well.
We also proposed, as part of this measure, applying some of the excessive subsidies that we give to agribusinesses as part of the offsets, and our colleagues rejected those.
As has been said, this is a product of compromise, but I do want to let people know that it has been our preference to close some of those special interest tax breaks and use some of those excessive agriculture subsidies as offsets here rather than some of the provisions that are before us.
Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.