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Simpson Supports Troops, Reining in Spending

Votes for one-week CR to providing military funding and cut spending by $12 billion

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Washington, April 7, 2011 | comments
“My colleague from across the aisle says that this is an ideological position on which Republicans will not yield, and he is right—our ideological position is that this country is in a fiscal crisis, and we have got to get this house back in order,” said Simpson from the House floor. “If that’s the position for which we’re being criticized, I welcome that criticism.”
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Idaho Congressman Mike Simpson today voted to cut federal spending by $12 billion in one week, ensure that troops in harm’s way continue to get paid, and prevent an unnecessary government shutdown.  The House of Representatives voted 247-181 for H.R. 1363, legislation to provide funding for the military for the remainder of the fiscal year and save taxpayers $12 billion while final negotiations continue on a long-term bill funding government operations for the rest of the fiscal year.

“My colleague from across the aisle says that this is an ideological position on which Republicans will not yield, and he is right—our ideological position is that this country is in a fiscal crisis, and we have got to get this house back in order,” said Simpson from the House floor.  “If that’s the position for which we’re being criticized, I welcome that criticism.”

“No one wants a government shut down, and there’s no reason for one.  The smart thing to do would be to pass this one-week CR that saves taxpayers $12 billion in a single week and meets the dual goals of addressing the fiscal crisis that we’re in and averting a government shutdown,” Simpson continued.  “It also funds our troops for the rest of the fiscal year, and it enables our congressional leaders and the White House to dot the i’s and cross the t’s on the final spending bill for FY11 so that we can clean up this mess and move on to the real budget battle in FY12.  That would be the smart thing to do.”

H.R. 1363 provides $151.76 billion in funding for the Department of Defense through the remainder of the fiscal year, which constitutes a 1.4% increase over current levels and is equal to the funding provided to DOD in H.R. 1.  The bill reduces discretionary funding for non-Defense programs by $13.1 billion.  It also includes language preventing Guantanamo Bay detainees from being transferred into the U.S., as well as language prohibiting federal and local funding to be used to provide abortions in the District of Columbia.

“Congress has the constitutional responsibility to fund government operations.  Failing to do so is not a smart political strategy, it is a failure of leadership,” said Simpson.  “This is why I am frustrated and disappointed that Senator Harry Reid has refused to pass a long-term continuing resolution in the Senate and negotiate in good faith with the House.  The only way to interpret his refusal to get serious about finishing the budget is that he wants to shut the government down.  The American people elected us to lead and to make the hard decisions needed to get our budget on track, but Senator Reid has made it clear that he is not interested in being a leader.”

H.R. 1363 will now be considered by the U.S. Senate.  In order to prevent a government shutdown, the bill must be passed by the Senate and signed into law by the President by tomorrow, when the current continuing resolution expires.

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