April 7, 2011
Mr. Speaker: Will we be Chamberlain or will we be Churchill?
Neville Chamberlain, the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom between 1937 and 1940, will forever be known for his foreign policy approach of appeasement. Prime Minister Chamerlain, even with Germany’s increasing aggression in Europe, turned a blind eye to the impending danger and did not prepare his nation for war.
Winston Churchill, who saw the dark clouds approaching, was looked upon as an alarmist at the time, even though he saw the true danger. Churchill stated: “An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last.”
Mr. Speaker: I once again will not be feeding the crocodile. I once again will not be voting for yet another Continuing Resolution. However, having spend 22 years in uniform, having served on the battlefield in defense of this nation, I will be voting for the Department of Defense Appropriations bill in order to support our men and women in uniform. Our nation is involved in two conflicts and our President has now involved us in a third. It is my constitutional responsibility to provide funding for the service members in uniform who are defending our nation both at home and abroad.
Some would argue that comparing World War II to the debate on the budget for Fiscal Year 2011 is not an appropriate comparison. However, I would argue that Winston Churchill was prepared to lead his country courageously, in the way that would ensure England’s future. Today we are also faced with the question of protecting America’s future.
Since we are discussing history it is important to be clear on the facts that have led us to this point. The Democrat Majority and President Obama over the last two years have produced deficits of $1.4 and $1.25 trillion and the President has produced a Budget for Fiscal Year 2012 which would had another $1.6 trillion. Our nation is faced with raising a debt limit of $15 trillion. Three years of trillion dollar deficits! America is moving onto the same path that Spain, Ireland, and now Portugal are on.
The American people know that the federal government is collecting $2.2 trillion and spending $3.7 trillion this year. The American people know forty cents of every dollar the federal government spends is borrowed, much of it from China. The American people also know our nation is piling up new debt at the rate of $4 billion a day.
The 111th Congress was controlled by overwhelming Democrat majorities in the House of Representatives and the United States Senate. Yet even with these enormous majorities, Congress failed to pass a budget or any of the Appropriations Bills.
In November of 2010, the people of this country voted for a change. They voted for a new direction for our nation. They voted because they saw, as did Winston Churchill, the dark coulds on the horizon.
The Republican Majority passed H.R. 1 and fulfilled a promise to the American people and sent the legislation to the U.S. Senate. However, the Democrat Majority in the Senate dismissed H.R. 1 as too extreme. Since the Senate rejected the legislation the changer as not produced any bill to bring to conference committee or even to use to negotiate. Forty-seven days and we are still waiting.
President Obama appointed Vice President Biden as the Administration point person on the negotiations with the Congress and instead of getting down to a serious discussion he flew off to Europe. Clearly the economy of Finland was more important than the failing economy that the President’s policies have produced for the United States.
All indications are that my Democrat colleagues want to get to the point of a government shutdown in order to win political points. It seems that their goal is the hope that by shutting the federal government that the American people will see an intransigent Republican Party and return the Democrats to power in the next election.
Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi waits in the wings to take the Speaker’s gavel back. Should that happen we will go back to the days of spending, taxing and regulating and embrace the policies that will put our economic and national security again at risk.
However, the Republican Party must now share in the blame of how we have arrived at this point. The Republican Leadership is approaching 100 days since taking the Majority and is now playing a game of high stakes poker with the funding for the Federal Government. The House Majority has now placed the funding for the Department of Defense and the funding for the troops down as a bargaining chip.
In the last 100 days, the House Majority could have passed at any point in time a separate stand alone Appropriations for the Department of Defense and the funding for our mena nd women in uniform. However, I am disgusted at the perception that Leaders in my own Party who did not move a Defense Bill earlier and are now using the men and women in uniform, the individuals who are defending our freedom, as a way to pass yet another continuing resolution.
Mr. Speaker, what will another week provide with regard to these negotiations? Will it provide an opportunity for the Democrat Party and Senator Schumer to create more exotic synonyms for the word “extreme” or will it allow the Leadership of the Republican Party to find other essential government programs to be used as vehicles to pass another Continuing Resolution.
Once again, it is time to conclude this debate on federal spending and get our nation back on track by cutting spending for the long term economic restoration of our Republic.
I voted for the Department of Defense Appropriation bill because, at this moment in time, due to the complete failure by the Democrat Majority in the Senate this is currently the only vehicle on the table. But more importantly, my “Yes” vote today was for my Brothers and Sisters in uniform. My “No” sentiment reflects a disappointment in my own leadership.
I believe today, more than ever, in the words of Winston Churchill who said “I was only the servant of my country and had I, at any moment, failed to express her unflinching resolve to find and conquer, I should at once have been rightly cast aside.”