Podcast of the address: Download MP3 for PODCAST
Delivering the Weekly Republican Address, Rep. Chris Lee (R-NY) says that with Washington’s out-of-control spending spree hurting our economy, Democrats’ failure to pass a budget represents a “missed opportunity” to provide the fiscal discipline economists say is needed to create jobs and grow our economy. The lawmaker notes that, according to the non-partisan Congressional Research Service, the House has never failed to pass a budget in the modern era. In the address, Rep. Lee talks about the need to cut spending now and discusses some of Republicans' common-sense solutions to do just that. Now in his first term in Congress, Rep. Lee represents the Buffalo area, where, on Thursday, President Obama tried to defend his ineffective trillion-dollar ‘stimulus.’
“Hello – I’m Congressman Chris Lee, and I have the great privilege of representing New York’s 26th Congressional District, which includes the suburbs of Buffalo and Rochester.
“President Obama visited our area this week, and it was my hope that he would listen – really listen – to what the people are saying. I’ve been in Congress 16 months now, but it doesn’t take that long to figure out that Washington does more talking than listening. And it certainly does more spending than saving, often in the name of creating jobs that never seem to come. The trillion-dollar ‘stimulus’ was supposed to keep unemployment below eight percent, but joblessness is now near ten percent.
“The new health care bill is faring no better. It was supposed to lower Americans’ health care costs, but the Obama Administration’s own experts determined that it will actually increase them. It was supposed to help reduce the deficit, but the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office now says the new law will cost taxpayers more than one trillion dollars.
“And now, after leaving taxpayers on the hook for massive ‘stimulus’ programs and permanent bailouts, Democrats in Washington have no credible plan to put our fiscal house in order. In fact, House Democrats may not even offer a budget this year.
“Families are making tough choices each month in order to live within a budget, and government should be doing the same. One Democratic leader in Congress has called the budget ‘the most basic responsibility of governing.’ Another Democratic leader has said, ‘if you can’t budget, you can’t govern.’ But now these same Democrats just want to continue spending money we don’t have, and they want to do it without a budget.
“This is a remarkable failure of leadership: according to the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service, not passing a budget resolution would be unprecedented in the modern era.
“And for you and your families, it means a missed opportunity to provide the fiscal discipline economists say is needed to create jobs and boost the economy. What’s worse, the fewer sacrifices Washington makes now, the more Americans will be asked to give up later in the form of massive, job-killing tax hikes.
“This is a recipe for economic disaster, and it has to change.
“Consider this: since President Obama was sworn into office, our national debt has risen by more than $2 trillion to a record $12.9 trillion. In just two more years, according to the President’s own estimates, our national debt will surpass the size of our entire economy. And unless we change course, our debt will reach levels now being experienced by Greece, whose debt is projected to reach 125 percent of its economy this year. Greece is already in the process of receiving an international bailout.
“We are seeing in Europe today what happens when debt spirals out of control, how it shakes the confidence of consumers, manufacturers, and small businesses, and how it creates an insurmountable obstacle to economic recovery. We’re also seeing in Europe that government is not immune to the same fate that befalls any business or family that recklessly spends more than it earns: you run out of money and you go bankrupt.
“So our choice is this: make the tough decisions required to put our fiscal house in order or continue to duck them. That’s why Republicans have proposed several initiatives to cut spending now and make Washington do more with less, just as families and small businesses are. We have asked President Obama to use his authority under the law to force Congress to consider spending cuts. We have also imposed an immediate, unilateral earmark ban and called for the savings to be used to reduce the deficit. And we have proposed strict budget caps to limit federal spending on an annual basis. Less spending, more jobs: it’s that simple.
“President Obama and Democrats in Washington should listen to the American people, who want us to work together on common-sense solutions to stop the spending spree and focus on helping manufacturers and small businesses create jobs. A responsible budget would be a good place to start.
“Thank you for listening.”