WASHINGTON – House Republican Conference Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas) delivered the following remarks on the House floor today in support of H.R. 3521, the Expedited Legislative Line-Item Veto and Rescissions Act.
“I thank the distinguished Chairman of the Budget Committee for yielding, and particularly for his leadership in being the number one budget hawk in the House.
“Mr. Chairman, hopefully by now all Americans know, we have a spending driven debt crisis. We are now looking at the fourth - fourth trillion dollar deficit in a row. Our debt to GDP ratio now exceeds the entire size of our economy for the first time since World War II. Again, we are in the midst of a crisis. We are mortgaging our children’s future, we are bankrupting a great nation, we are hindering jobs and economic growth in this country.
“I have listened very carefully, to friends – close friends, come to the House floor to argue against this bill. And I agree with much of what they say. This is one individual tool in a tool box. They point out the absence of many more and they are correct. It is my hope and my aspiration that this House will take them up.
“Also, if I could I want to also congratulate the gentleman from Maryland, the ranking member of the House Budget Committee. It’s not always easy in these times to work on a bi-partisan basis. We had an opportunity to work on the Joint Select Committee, to which he was a positive force. We often disagreed, but he has commanded my respect and he commands my respect today for his bi-partisan work.
“I do want to congratulate the Chairman of the Appropriations Committee, and the entirety of his Committee. For the first time in my lifetime, under his leadership, discretionary spending will decline for two years in a row. An incredible achievement. I also want to thank our Speaker, Speaker Boehner, for his leadership on the entire subject of earmarks. Earmarks are not necessarily inherently bad, but Mr. Chairman, we all know that too often they represented the triumph of seniority over merit. And the triumph of local and special interest over national interest. And under the leadership of our Speaker, with a little help from the gentleman from Arizona, Mr. Flake, they are no more. But in a different time, in a different era, they may return and this at least an insurance policy that the one individual who is elected to represent the entirety of the nation, the President of the United States, can at least put a spotlight on that type of spending, and just ask the United States Congress to take that up or down vote.
“It’s about transparency, it’s about accountability, it’s about a modest tool in a time of debt crisis to help with jobs, economic growth, and the survival of a great nation”