I'm sure the American people will be shocked to hear that this is only the 36th day the House is scheduled to hold votes this year. With only 57 scheduled voting days until adjournment, the House is now on track to meet 15 days less than the first Do-Nothing Congress of 1948. No wonder the American people are so disgusted with Congress.
The fiscal year 2007 budget resolution, [HCR:376], passed the House 218-210, with my support. This bill would allow up to $872.8 billion in discretionary spending for fiscal year 2007, plus $50 billion for operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. It would call for mandatory spending cuts of $6.8 billion over five years and tax cuts totaling $448 billion over five years. Defense discretionary spending would increase by 7 percent over fiscalyear 2006, to $460.2 billion, not counting a $50 billion war set-aside, non-defense discretionary spending would remain at $419.4 billion.
It is important that Congress pass a budget as a benchmark of fiscal discipline. I was pleased to vote for this bill as we begin to consider appropriations bills for this fiscal year. Although this bill was not perfect, I have pledged to work with my colleagues to make sure that education, health, and other social programs get the funding that they need. These are the programs that affect our communities at the core and need to be prioritized.
The Border Patrol is doing a great job under overwhelming circumstances, and they deserve all the support we can give them. With the National Guard in a supporting role, our border security efforts will be much more efficient and we will be able to reduce the amount of crime on the borders, most of which affects the immigrants themselves.
The Administration's plan for a National Missile Defense in Europe is nothing more than deploying an expensive myth in the absence of true international cooperation.
National Missile Defense (NMD) has a well documented record of failure. Despite over twenty years worth of research and development, and hundreds of billions of dollars in taxpayer money wasted, no NMD system has successfully completed a live-fire test.
The only people who benefit from this taxpayer funded boondoggle are the defense contractors who continue to line their pockets with taxpayer funds without producing a successful live-fire test.
Missile defense has failed in America, and it will fail in Europe.
Only international diplomacy, in which the United States participates, will resolve our stand off with Iran. A new arms race in Europe will not deter Iran from pursuing nuclear technologies, and is just the latest example of this Administration's failed foreign policy that makes our country less, not more, secure.
(The Shell and Conoco CEO statements were at a Nov. 2005 joint hearing before the Senate Committees on Energy and Natural Resources, and Commerce, Science and Transportation.)