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Todd R.
Republican IN 4

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  • Providing for the Expenses of Certain Committees of the House of Representatives in the 113Th Congress

    by Representative Todd Rokita

    Posted on 2013-03-19

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    ROKITA. I thank the chair for yielding.

    Mr. Speaker, I rise in strong support of House Resolution 115, but I appreciate, quite honestly, the concerns just raised. And let me try to address some of them, if not all of them.

    There are victims in this country, for sure. But the real victimization will occur if this House, if this Congress, if this President does not get ahold of the deficit and debt situation that we are incurring. Right now, we are in the middle of debating different budgets, the priorities that we have as parties, as Americans, et cetera.

    On the one hand, we have a budget that balances in 10 years--radical for this town. On the other side, we have budgets that never, ever balance. If we don't get ahold of these deficits so we can finally start attacking the debt, and if we continue to leave to future generations our bills--to me, Mr. Speaker, the most immoral thing I can think of, really, that we can do in civic life is to leave our bills for future generations to pay. There will be the victimization.

    Yes, we are going to have a hard time at the committee level, and certainly even with our MRAs that have been cut in the past, to try to do our work. But what I heard in these committee hearings from our chairman and our ranking members each is that they pledge to continue their legislative and oversight activities despite these budget cuts. So there is not going to be any victimization here with this House resolution.

    The other thing this House resolution does is finally lets us lead by example, Mr. Speaker. How can we have a national family discussion? How can we have a discussion about the morality of leaving our bills for future generations to pay if we are not willing to suck some of it up ourselves? And, yes, we are doing it. Do you know who else is doing it? The military.

    I would like to say here on the floor of the House that those excuses should now be taken off the table. We are leading by example in what we have cut through our MRAs already and this House resolution. And guess what? So has the military.

    Let's finally get to a discussion and action, more importantly, regarding the real drivers of our debt--the social entitlement programs of Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security. And, yes, many of our constituents will say, Hey, wait a minute. Don't call those social entitlement programs. We paid into those, therefore, we should get out. And that is true. But what is also true is that on average--let's take Medicare, for example, Mr. Speaker--we are paying in about 40 percent, again, on average, of what we are taking out. It is immoral, wrong, to let that 60 percent get paid for by people who don't even yet exist and, therefore, don't have a say in the matter.

    House Resolution 115 lets us lead by example so that we can finally get to the rest of the conversation about the drivers of our debt. Guess what else? The interest we owe ourselves as private citizens-- and, more increasingly, other countries like China, countries that don't necessarily have our best interest at heart, nor should they have to have our best interest at heart--we are paying more to them in interest because of this debt than we are spending on homeland security, education, and roads combined.

    That breeds weakness, that fosters instability, that creates victimization. House Resolution 115 will give us the moral authority and the real authority to continue having this discussion, to lead by example, which is so well needed in this country right now at this time. The fact of the matter is, we shouldn't have to have oversight of the budgets of the executive branch if the executive branch and this President were to lead and recognize the debt that we are in, the deficits that we run, and rein in his own people, rein in his own organizations, create a culture of doing more with less.

    {time} 1520 As it has been famously stated by a former Governor in Indiana: people will never miss the government that has been cut.

    It goes without saying, with regard to individualism, people can do more for themselves and people can do more for each other than any faraway Federal Government program can. Let's continue leading by example. Let's continue this fiscal fight that we are engaged in. Let's pass--let's strongly support--House Resolution 115.

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