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Cole backs Ryan Budget Deal on House Floor

December 12, 2013

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Tom Cole (OK-04) offered the following remarks today on the House Floor in support of H.J. Res. 59, the Bipartisan Budget Act FY 2014.

I rise today in support of the rule and the underlying legislation, the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013. I had the privilege of sitting as one of the budget conferees, and it was an interesting process but a productive one.

This is the first time, in a long time, we’ve had a genuine compromise in this body and frankly, between this body and the Administration and between this body and the other chamber.

I particularly want to praise Chairman Ryan and Chairman Murray, who worked together in good faith and worked together well. Neither one of whom violated their core principles but both of whom came together and did some pretty extraordinary things in what is a modest bill.

First of all, they actually added to deficit reduction over the [10-year] window. Literally, we will have a somewhat smaller deficit and debt because of what they did than if we keep the current situation.

Secondly, they did something we all know needs to be done: they dealt, a little bit, with mandatory spending and redistributed those savings over to the discretionary side of the budget. It’s because they were able to do that that we’re probably going to be able to protect our military from what would have been really devastating cuts under sequester. That’s a pretty amazing achievement.

But the achievement to me that is most impressive of all is that they managed to find a compromise that will restore regular order. We all know if this legislation passes, the appropriators from the Senate and the appropriators from the House will be working over the holidays, we’ll probably come back and have an omnibus or some series of minibuses. But we will actually have had a somewhat normal appropriations process. And even more importantly, because they’ve set a topline number for Fiscal Year 2015, we can have regular order work in this chamber all year next year. And we will be spared the prospect of a government shutdown in January or again in October.

Those are exceptional achievements. I wish it would’ve been more and different. I know I would’ve written it differently; I know my friend would’ve, I know my friends on the other side would’ve.

But we ought to take a step back and thank Chairman Ryan and thank Chairman Murray for what they did to restore the institution, as much as what they did to try and work on the budget. They did it the right way. They did it together. It’s an example we ought to follow.

So I urge the passage of this rule and the support and passage of the underlying legislation.  


Contact: Sarah Corley 202.225.6165