A FISCAL FIRST STEP; Congressional Record Vol. 151, No. 88
(House of Representatives - June 28, 2005)

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                          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 
  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 
  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 
  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.