Congressman Pete Olson

Representing the 22nd District of Texas


April 14, 2011

Rep.  Pete Olson (R-Sugar Land) today issued the following statement in support of passage of H.R. 1473, a bill to cut $38.5 billion in federal spending for Fiscal Year 2011:

The following remarks are as delivered on the floor of the House of Representative this morning.  Click here to view the video.

Mr. Speaker, I rise today in strong support of H.R. 1473, a continuing resolution which will fund our government and most importantly, our troop's families for the rest of the fiscal year and will help create a better environment for job creation.

While this final agreement is far from perfect – more cuts going forward are absolutely needed – this agreement is a victory for the American people. At $38.5 billion in cuts, H.R. 1473 represents the largest spending cut since World War II. Domestic spending will actually fall by 4% this year with the passage of this CR.

We accomplished this historic cut just months after President Obama asked Congress for a spending “freeze.” That would have meant zero, nada, nil cuts would be made this year. In fact, our federal government will spend $78.5 billion less than President Obama proposed spending this year with passage of H.R. 1473.

These historic cuts would not be possible without the strong and constant support of the American people to end the out of control spending in Washington. Their voices were heard loud and clear on November 2nd. House Republicans were able to translate the people's call for reining in spending into the largest non-defense spending cut in American history.

Washington is no longer talking about IF we should cut spending; we are talking about HOW MUCH we should cut. This is the American peoples’ victory and they deserve the credit for providing the support and momentum to change our debate.

This bill is also a victory for my home State of Texas and for the good people of the 22ndcongressional district, who I am so honored to represent. Importantly, H.R. 1473 repeals the Doggett Amendment – a heavy handed amendment that was forcing Texas – and only Texas – to violate its own constitution and spend education funds as the federal government dictated while giving every other state in the nation the flexibility to spend the funds as they see fit.

The Doggett Amendment, which was inserted in last summer’s state government bailout bill (H.R. 1586), singled out Texas by depriving its schools of $830 million in funding.  No other state faced such treatment. Teachers across Texas were worried about losing their jobs with this expected shortfall in education money.  But passage of this bill will right an egregious wrong to the State of Texas.

Mr. Speaker, passage of this measure today means that we will have succeeded in reducing discretionary spending to pre-stimulus/bailout levels. We will be lowering the baseline for next year’s budget, which will result in hundreds of billions of dollars in savings over the next decade.

Most importantly, we are setting the stage for the real challenge that comes next – cutting trillions in spending through the new Republican budget, The Path to Prosperity. We didn’t get into this fiscal crisis overnight, and we will not get out of it overnight. But today, for the first time in years, Washington will begin to tighten its belt, just as families across America have had to do.

This is just the beginning of an important step forward in changing the culture of spending the people's tax dollars with reckless abandon.  America is open for business again. I urge my colleagues to vote for H.R. 1473.  I thank the Speaker and I yield back the balance of my time.

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