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Cole Urges Passage of Responsible Budget Plan

December 16, 2011
Speech

This bill spends less --$70 billion less-- than the president requested and $6 billion less than we spent last year, the second year in a row we have actually cut discretionary funding.

The bill cuts by 5% funding for EPA regulatory programs, which have passed some wildly unpopular and costly rules. It eliminates 23 programs totaling more than $240 million. And while this bill cuts wasteful spending, it actually focuses additional funds on things that count: defending our country, helping some of our most vulnerable and challenged citizens and providing funds to educate some of our most disadvantaged young people.

The bill provides a 1.6% pay increase for the military as requested by the president and funds the defense health and military family programs at $1.1 billion above FY 2011 and $283 million above the president's request. Along with supporting our armed forces, this bill exceeds the FY 2011 levels for our veterans. With $58 billion in discretionary spending, this bill is $2.1 billion above last year's level for those who have served our country.

In addition, the Indian Health Service is funded at $4.3 billion.

Finally, I want to note TRIO funding was increased in the difficult environment by $15 million. Mr. Speaker, this is a good bill. It reprioritizes our spending away from wasteful programs that don't work toward things that are truly important for the American people. I urge its passage.