June 28, 2005 - Issue: Vol. 151, No. 88 — Daily Edition109th Congress (2005 - 2006) - 1st Session
A FISCAL FIRST STEP; Congressional Record Vol. 151, No. 88
(House of Representatives - June 28, 2005)
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[Page H5258] From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov] A FISCAL FIRST STEP (Mr. DeLAY asked and was given permission to address the House for 1 minute and to revise and extend his remarks.) Mr. DeLAY. Mr. Speaker, this week the House will complete its constitutionally mandated initial round of work on the annual appropriations bills that fund our national government. This spring and summer, the House's restructured Committee on Appropriations and its staff have worked under an accelerated schedule and within an extremely disciplined fiscal budget environment, and they have produced bills that are worthy of the needs and values of the American people. When the final two of the House's 11 spending bills are passed this week, Foreign Operations and the Transportation, Treasury and Housing and Urban Development bills, the House will have put us on track to hold domestic discretionary spending next year below this year's level. If we hold to these levels, the Federal Government will realize a real cut in domestic discretionary spending in 2006 for the first time since the Reagan administration. By the end of this week, we will have targeted more than 100 low-priority government programs for termination, more than even President Bush proposed in his austere budget. These difficult, but necessary, reductions will tighten the Federal Government's belt to the tune of $4.6 billion. In these bills, the House has met our Nation's pressing needs here at home and around the world, but at the same time has held every program accountable to the American people. Passage of these bills puts us on a path to deficit reduction, just as Republicans promised at the beginning of this Congress. As we showed in the 1990s, the best, and indeed the only, way to cut the deficit is to hold down government spending while creating an environment for greater economic growth through tax relief. That is exactly what is happening now. With Federal revenues up and spending checked and even reduced, the Congressional Budget Office has lowered its projected deficit for the year. We are finally on that glide-path to balance. The gentleman from California (Mr. Lewis) deserves an enormous amount of credit for this achievement, and I would be remiss if I did not also thank the gentleman from Wisconsin (Mr. Obey), the ranking member, for his work, especially given this year's accelerated schedule and restructured committee. The House has taken the first step toward reaffirming fiscal accountability again in 2006; but with the process only half over, you can bet, Mr. Speaker, it will not be our last. ____________________