Continuing Appropriations Resolution, 2014by Representative Harold Rogers
Posted on 2013-12-12
ROGERS of Kentucky. Mr. Speaker, I rise today in strong support
of H.J. Res. 59, the Ryan-Murray budget agreement.
First, I want to commend Chairman Ryan on achieving a resolution to our immediate budget challenges. It takes a good deal of courage; it takes persistence; it takes dedication to reach a bipartisan agreement such as this, and I want the chairman of the Budget Committee to know that we deeply appreciate his hard work on our behalf.
While everyone might not like everything in this bill, it is the best product that is achievable right now, and I urge that it be passed.
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 very significant accomplishment. Plus, it opens the door for future progress on the problem of runaway entitlements. It paves the way toward budget and economic stability for the next 2 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 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 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, each one separately brought to the floor, as the Constitution intends.
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' 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 the end of the CR, January 15. The omnibus will reflect the budget outline that is the Ryan-Murray bill before us now 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.
Again, I want to commend the chairman, the ranking member, and all of the members of the conference committee for the hard work and difficult decisions that they had to make to bring this bill to us now. I urge our colleagues to support it.
Mr. VAN HOLLEN. Mr. Speaker, I now yield 2 minutes to the gentlelady from Maryland (Ms. Edwards), my colleague and friend on the Transportation Committee.