CONTINUING RESOLUTION; Congressional Record Vol. 157, No. 55
(Senate - April 14, 2011)

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[Pages S2470-S2471]
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                         CONTINUING RESOLUTION

  Mrs. HUTCHISON. Madam President, we are today making a small 
downpayment toward getting runaway Federal spending under control. The 
spending bill we will vote on today represents a $78 billion spending 
cut from that proposed by President Obama for this year. It will be $38 
billion from what the Federal Government spent last year. We must 
address the spending binge our country has been on for the last 2, 4, 6 
  Spending cuts have been actually ignored. We have increased spending 
in the name of stimulus. The problem is, that kind of spending didn't 
stimulate the economy in the private sector where the jobs are 
  At the beginning of this year, the President proposed a budget that 
would spend $3.7 trillion next year, with a $1.6 trillion deficit. The 
national debt is now $14.29 trillion. Under President Obama's budget 
plan, the national debt would double since he took office and triple by 
2020. We then embarked on a vigorous negotiation on this year's budget. 
Republicans insisted on cuts beginning now, which is the middle of a 
fiscal year, which makes it very difficult because the spending levels 
are already in place for half a year. But we said: No, we need to start 
right now, even if it is hard, even if it is in the middle of the 
fiscal year.
  There was a hard negotiation. We know that because we had a series of 

1-, 2-, and 3-week continuing resolutions that allowed the government 
to go forward but did not make the final decisions on finishing the 
fiscal year, September 30, with cuts that were necessary.
  Part of the negotiation was to avoid a government shutdown. I did not 
want a government shutdown. In the end, that costs more. It costs more 
to do all the changes that are necessary to shut down the government 
and then to make the changes necessary to come back and put it back 
online. We did the right thing by making those cuts, by taking that 
first step, and by not shutting down government so that so many people 
would have been left in the lurch: Federal employees--most certainly we 
were going to take care of our military, but they should not have had 
to worry about it--all of the people who had vacations planned, who had 
bought airline tickets and who wanted to go to national museums and 
parks. All people would have experienced some kind of disruption. It 
wasn't necessary if we did the amount of cutting, and we did.
  We cannot rest because the real battle is going to be for cutting 
trillions, not billions. It is the trillions that are going to start 
getting the deficits down and bring our debt back into line.
  To do as the President suggested earlier this year and freeze 
spending at this year's levels would have been like someone who was on 
a diet saying: I am just going to eat what I eat now and no more. But 
that doesn't mean that person would lose weight. We all know that.
  Today the Federal Government is spending $4 billion every day that we 
don't act. We add $4 billion every day that we don't have, that is debt 
borrowed from somewhere else. We are borrowing 42 cents on every dollar 
we spend. Much of that is from the Chinese. And what are we doing? We 
are giving a bill to our children that is unsupportable. That is not 
just a problem for our grandchildren in the future; it is a problem for 
  This year our interest payments on this mountain of debt have already 
cost us $190 billion. By 2020, if we go at this rate, annual interest 
payments on the national debt will more than double to approximately 
$778 billion a year. Now we are going to $\3/4\ trillion just for 
interest payments. We cannot allow that to happen.
  The President made a speech yesterday. It was a call for action. 
Unfortunately, I believe the President called for the wrong action. The 
President said we have to have taxes go up and we have to have spending 
that goes down together. He proposed raising $1 trillion in tax 
increases. That is $1 trillion in higher taxes for small business, $1 
trillion in higher taxes for family farmers. That is not going to help 
the economy come out of the doldrums. Who is going to be able to hire 
people if they are going to have a tax burden and a regulatory burden 
that is going to keep them from being able to expand their operations?
  Washington has a spending problem, not a taxing problem.
  We wasted $1 trillion in failed stimulus spending in the first 2 
years of the Obama Presidency. Now he is raising taxes by $1 trillion 
in the second half of his Presidency to pay for a stimulus package that 
didn't work? That does not make sense.
  The President also believes that a stronger Federal Government, a 
more powerful Federal Government is the answer to our problems. He 
proposed yesterday to address Medicare and Medicaid costs by expanding 
upon the health care reform bill that was pushed through on a 
completely partisan vote and that already is going to increase 
government. It is going to increase costs, and cuts to Medicare are 
going to pay for part of that increase. The President would give more 
power to the unelected bureaucrats on his new independent payment 
advisory board that is there to cut Medicare payments and 
reimbursements to doctors. We do not need a bigger, more powerful 
Federal Government to address the issues of this mounting debt.
  We are going to have a vigorous debate on what is the right answer: 
more powerful Federal Government and more taxes versus a smaller, more 
restrained Federal Government that promotes growth in the private 
sector to make our economy go. We are approaching the limit on the 
Federal debt ceiling. That is where we must take a stand. That is where 
we have to draw the line in the sand and say: No more. We cannot raise 
the limit on the Federal debt without reforms taking place that will 
show that over the next 10 years we have a plan, and the plan is to cut 
back on the deficit every year.
  I think a total of around $6 trillion in cuts over a 10-year period 
is a responsible approach. We will debate some of the things in the 
proposals that have been put forward: what are the priorities in 
spending, what will promote growth, what will promote jobs. But we must 
have a plan before we raise the debt ceiling.
  Republicans and Democrats can agree on one thing: We do need a 
combination of spending cuts with revenue increases to get to the 
trillions that are needed to cut this debt. But the way we define 
revenue is the answer. The Democrats say revenue means tax increases. 
The tax increases are on people who would do the hiring to grow the 
jobs. So we are putting a damper on the ability to reinvigorate the 
  Republicans are going to argue that the revenue comes from creating 
jobs, from having more people employed, so they can help with our 
economy and try to help bring revenue in by being employed in the 
private sector.
  Republicans believe the way to create revenue is by building a 

[[Page S2471]]

economy, to have people working so they are contributing to the 
economy, not having people who are forced to take benefits because they 
cannot find a job in this stagnant economy that we all have 
acknowledged is here.
  Today, I hope all of us will agree to take the first steps on the 
responsible spending cuts that will get us through the end of this 
fiscal year. I hope we will come together on next year's budget. The 
2012 budget is what we are having hearings on. I had a hearing this 
morning with the Secretary of Commerce--the FBI Director earlier this 
week--to assure that we are spending for 2012 in a limited, responsible 
way and covering the needs of our country and also making the 
investments that will spur growth in our economy.
  But the big debate we are going to have is on increasing the debt 
limit. At $14.29 trillion, we must do it with reforms that show the 
world that is buying our debt that we are going to have a responsible 
way to pay them back. I do not want the Chinese to raise the interest 
rates because they are worried about whether we have the political will 
to pay them back.
  We will have the political will to do it if we cut spending, if we 
increase revenue through job growth, not taxes. We will show the world 
the debt is good and that interest rates should stay low and that we 
should work to have good trade agreements so we can build up our jobs 
and buy things from outside, and those economies will flourish so they 
can buy our products. That is what would be a win for everyone, and 
that is what we will be promoting in the next few months in Washington.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Montana.