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McKeon blasts Dems on spending, calls for freeze

Opposes $410 billion omnibus spending bill

Posted: February 26, 2009 2:26 p.m.
Updated: February 26, 2009 11:57 a.m.
 

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Wednesday, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the omnibus spending bill for FY2009 and Rep. Howard P. "Buck" McKeon (R-Santa Clarita) expressed serious concern with Democrats' continued federal spending spree and opposed the bloated $410 billion measure.

"While the California is struggling with its own budget and the country is in the midst of economic turmoil, House Democrats are bloating the federal budget by $30 billion," McKeon said. "The Democrats' omnibus spending bill is not the example of fiscal restraint that we need right now; what we do need in Washington is a spending freeze, maintaining 2008 spending levels without the 8 percent budget increase. These are serious times that require all of us to buckle down and rein in on frivolous spending."

With McKeon's full support, House Republican Leadership sent the following letter to Speaker Pelosi and Majority Leader Hoyer earlier this week:

Dear Speaker Pelosi & Leader Hoyer,

Our country is in recession. Americans are struggling in today's economy. They're tired of business-as-usual in Washington spending, and they're furious about Washington wasting their money at a time when every penny in the family budget counts. American families and small businesses are being forced to make sacrifices, and their government - which is funded with taxpayers' hard-earned money - should be making sacrifices, too.

To his great credit, President Obama has recognized this in his public statements, declaring he is "committed to fiscal transparency and accountability and ensuring that [all] spending commitments are paid for without burdening our children and grandchildren with excessive debt." He has made clear that "spending that cannot withstand public scrutiny cannot be justified." He has pledged to "slash earmarks to no greater than 1994 levels and ensure all spending decisions are open to the public."

Republicans agree with the President on these commitments, and we assume Democratic congressional leaders do too. It is in this spirit that we urge you to scrap the so-called "omnibus" spending bill being rushed to a vote this week and instead bring a "continuing resolution" to the floor that freezes federal spending at current levels and includes no earmarks, Democratic or Republican.

Like the trillion-dollar "stimulus" spending bill that was rushed through Congress without any Member having read it, the $410 billion legislation scheduled to reach the House floor this week openly defies the President's commendable objectives of fiscal transparency and accountability. It was written in near-secrecy, and withheld from public view for many weeks in an effort to minimize public scrutiny of its details. And with the exception of the temporary increase that was set in motion following the 9/11 attacks on our nation, the bill contains the largest single increase in federal discretionary spending since the Carter Administration in 1978.

Most Americans would agree this is not fiscal transparency or fiscal accountability. Rather, it is business-as-usual in Washington spending: fiscal negligence. And it comes at the worst possible moment for financially-strapped American families who are struggling to make ends meet and are incensed at Washington's penchant for waste and fiscal excess.

This is a time of great challenge for our nation. Republicans want to work with you and our President to bring spending-as-usual to a halt in Washington and impose a new standard of bipartisan fiscal discipline that reflects the sacrifices being made by families and small businesses across America. We ask you to start this process by scrapping the "omnibus" spending bill and joining Republicans in support of a bipartisan spending freeze.

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