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Doug C.
Republican GA 9

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  • The Debt Ceiling

    by Representative Doug Collins

    Posted on 2013-01-15

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    COLLINS of Georgia. I thank my friend from Indiana.

    It's good to be here, and it's good to get started on what we've been sent here to do. I think that's the great thing about us coming together tonight and sharing, from a freshman perspective, our first few days in which we've been thrown into a Congress that really, I don't believe, any have experienced before. There have been tough challenges, but I think this is going to be an interesting time for us all. I appreciate us getting together tonight as we go forward.

    Mr. Speaker, I come from the great Georgia Ninth. The northeast Georgia district is full of mountain values and common sense. When we look at the district, as I traveled around for almost 18 months, what I kept hearing from people all along is that they wanted their life to look ahead to something of a brighter future. I think right now, from an economic perspective, when we look at what's going on, that is what they are most concerned about. They're looking at what they have at the national level and they're looking at our debt, they're looking at our economic and our budget issues and they're saying, How is this effective? How is this going to be better for my kids and my grandkids? I thought to myself as I was traveling around and I began--when I ran, I told my constituents, I run for three reasons, and they were Jordan, Copelan, and Cameron. They're my three children. I told them that they represent not only my three kids and their future, but they represented the kids and the grandkids of the district and the nieces and nephews of those that everybody in my district lived with and cared for, because it is their future that we're dealing with here. It's their future.

    {time} 1950 When we talk about the economics and when we talk about the problem we're in, this is the area in which we have got to work as a Congress. We cannot shirk the duty. We cannot pass it along. They expect us to act, and they expect us to act in a way in which, as we look forward, actually makes a difference in their lives.

    President Obama recently told our Speaker that he doesn't believe we have a debt problem. We're $16 trillion in the hole, and our out-of- touch Commander in Chief doesn't think we have a serious problem on our hands. As my friend from North Carolina just stated--I want to go with the entire quote, and this is what was said: The fact that we are here today to debate raising America's debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. ``Leadership'' means the buck stops here. Instead, Washington is shifting the burden of bad choices today onto the backs of our children and grandchildren. America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership. Americans deserve better. I, therefore, intend to oppose the effort to increase America's debt limit.

    As we look at this issue, it really amazes me because I want to focus not on this debt issue but on basically what it says here. It says: America has a debt problem, and it's a failure of leadership.

    If it were a failure of leadership back in 2006, it must be a catastrophic nightmare at this point because all we've done is increase it. We've got to do better. We're borrowing almost half of every dollar we spend. If we don't provide serious measures to take care of it, we will leave our country in an absolute debacle for our kids and grandchildren, and that's simply not a price I'm willing to pay.

    Our President just recently talked about not only a debt problem but that he doesn't believe we have a spending problem. I thought to myself that we don't have a spending problem; yet one of our colleagues, Representative Lankford, stated just the other day that in 2012 we'll have the third highest revenue year ever in the Federal Government, and yet we're still discussing the fact that we don't have a spending problem.

    I'm sorry, Mr. President, this is not leadership. This is failure. We cannot continue to give the President and those on the other side of the aisle a blank check. Any discussion of raising the debt ceiling must also include an examination of serious reforms that need to be made to entitlement and discretionary spending.

    On January 2, 2013, President Obama stated that we cannot continue to cut our way to prosperity.

    Mr. President, on the contrary, we cannot tax and spend our way to prosperity either.

    I think tonight we're starting what, I hope, will become a regular occurrence for this freshman class, my friend from Indiana. As we look at it, it's what I believe we have to do, and I believe it's about telling our story and about telling why conservative principles matter and how conservative principles, when we explain how we can get debt off their backs and spending under control, mean freedom for their kids to have a better future so that they can go to college and so that they can start that new business and employ other people. I believe America's greatest gift was found in the free enterprise system, and that's what we can encourage by getting our own fiscal house in order here tonight.

    This is the time for us to come together, and I'm so pleased to stand with you and with the other freshmen here tonight. We're here to work, and we're here to make some hard choices and to realize this is all in America's best interests. I appreciate your letting me be a part of this tonight.

    Announcement by the Speaker Pro Tempore The SPEAKER pro tempore. Members are reminded to address their remarks to the Chair.

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