Providing for Consideration of Senate Amendment to H.J. Res. 59, Continuing Appropriations Resolution, 2014by Representative Tom Cole
Posted on 2013-12-12
COLE. I thank the gentleman for yielding.
Mr. Speaker, I rise today in support of the rule and the underlying legislation, the bipartisan Budget Act of 2013.
I had the privilege of sitting as one of the budget conferees, and it was an interesting process but a productive one. This is the first time in a long time we have had a genuine compromise in this body and, frankly, between this body and the administration and between this body and the other Chamber.
I particularly want to praise Chairman Ryan and Chairman Murray, who worked together in good faith and who worked together well, neither one of whom violated their core principles but both of whom came together and did some pretty extraordinary things in what is a modest bill.
First of all, they actually added to the deficit reduction over the window. Literally, we will have a somewhat smaller deficit and debt because of what they did than if we keep the current situation.
Secondly, they did something we all know needs to be done in that they dealt a little bit with mandatory spending, and they redistributed those savings over to the discretionary side of the budget. It was because they were able to do that that we are probably going to be able to protect our military from what would have been really devastating cuts under the sequester. That is a pretty amazing achievement.
The achievement, to me, that is the most impressive of all is that they managed to find a compromise that will restore regular order. We all know, if this legislation passes, the appropriators from the Senate and the appropriators from the House will be working over the holidays. They will probably come back and have an omnibus or some series of minibuses, but we will actually have had a somewhat normal appropriations process. Even more importantly, because they have set a top line number for fiscal year 2015, we can have regular order work in this Chamber all year next year, and we will be spared the prospect of a government shutdown in January or again in October.
Those are exceptional achievements. I wish there would have been more and would have been different. I know I would have written it differently. I know my friend would have, and I know my friends on the other side would have; but we ought to take a step back and thank Chairman Ryan and thank Chairman Murray for what they did to restore the institution as much as what they did to try and work on the budget. They did it the right way. They did it together, and it is an example we ought to follow.
So I urge the passage of this rule and the support and passage of the underlying legislation.