Monday, February 23, 2009

Boehner, House Republican Leaders Call for Federal Spending Freeze to Address Growing Budget Deficit

As Washington leaders gather for a White House summit on fiscal responsibility, House Republican Leader John Boehner (R-OH) and other House Republican leaders today wrote to Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD), calling for a federal spending freeze and urging Democratic congressional leaders to scrap a massive bill that contains the largest increase in non-entitlement spending since the Carter Administration. Congress should scrap the so-called “omnibus” bill, which has been kept hidden from public scrutiny by Democratic leaders, and instead pass clean legislation that holds the line on federal spending, Republican leaders said.

“President Obama has called for both parties to get serious about fiscal responsibility. With our budget deficit potentially reaching $3 trillion this year, Republicans stand ready to work with him, and we believe we should start right now,” Boehner said. “Democratic congressional leaders should abandon their plans to rush another giant spending increase through Congress without public scrutiny, and instead pass a clean bill that freezes spending at current levels. Republicans stand ready to work with our Democratic colleagues and the President to take this first step toward a new standard of fiscal discipline in Washington.”

“Weeks ago House Republicans asked Speaker Pelosi and Majority Leader Hoyer to put this giant spending bill online so the American people would have adequate time to review it. Unfortunately, they declined. And on Friday, it was revealed that the bill congressional Democrats have been withholding from public view contains the largest discretionary spending increase since the Carter Administration, at a time when the federal budget deficit is already ballooning to dangerous levels,” Boehner said. “Democratic congressional leaders are reportedly rushing this bill to a vote this week, just days after passing a trillion-dollar ‘stimulus’ spending bill that no Member of Congress had even read. This is not fiscal responsibility; it is fiscal negligence, paid for by our children and grandchildren. We must change course, and we must do it in a bipartisan manner.”

NOTE: The giant spending bill kept under wraps by Democratic leaders would fund the nine uncompleted Fiscal Year 2009 appropriations bills that the Democratic Congress did not send to the President last year. Many taxpayer advocates argue that instead of rolling the nine appropriations bills into one giant “omnibus” bill that increases federal spending on an array of programs and projects at a time of growing budget deficits, Congress should simply pass a resolution that holds government spending at current levels.


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