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Cole Discusses 2012 Appropriations Legislation

November 17, 2011

There are certainly members on this floor that are a lot more knowledgeable about this particular piece of legislation than I am. I don't serve on any of the relevant subcommittees on Appropriations, and so they're going to talk about it in more depth and detail than I ever could. But I tell you what -- and I certainly would be the first to say -- that we did not have a perfect process. I would have preferred individual bills, I think most of us on the Appropriations Committee would. And we didn't cut as much money as I would have liked to have cut.

Having said those things, I want to really congratulate our chairman and our ranking member for beginning the process of restoring us to regular order. And I want to commend them for bringing in a bill that spent less money than we spent last year, that has important elements in it, that protects gun rights and gun ownership. and that frankly is a very serious effort to deal in a very responsible way with a large portion of our government and at the same time attack our larger fiscal problems.

Now, we're going to hear from a lot of members over the course of the debate that the bill spent too much money. and others that think that it spent too little money, and others that tell us that it's not perfect in every detail. I would just remind those individuals on both sides of the aisle, we are the House of Representatives. We're not the House of Commons. You know, some of our members sometimes seem to think that all legislative and all executive authority resides here. It doesn't. Our framers set up a very different system. And we deal with the United States Senate that's controlled by a different political party and we obviously have a president -- our president, but a president of a different political persuasion than the majority of this house. And that necessitates compromise. That necessitates some give and take. I think the process that has been worked, if you will, by the chairman and by the ranking member and by the various subcommittee chairmen and their ranking member counterparts has been a good and productive effort at compromise. It's achieved real results and it deserves real and will have real and genuine bipartisan support. I urge passage of this important piece of legislation. I thank the chairman, I thank the committees for their hard work, and let's get back to the business of governing the greatest country on the planet. We made a good step here today.