Tuesday, Senator Mike LeeвЂ™s motion to maintain certain 2012 spending appropriations at 2011 levels was voted down. The motion would have affected legislation that will authorize funding for several departments, including agriculture, commerce, and transportation.
вЂњMy motion to reduce current 2012 spending by roughly $10 billion should have easily passed at a time when the country is running an annual deficit of $1.3 trillion and is saddled with a national debt as large as the entire annual output of the economy. Instead, todayвЂ™s vote shows that too many members of the Senate are still committed to fighting every attempt to enact even the smallest amount of savings,” said Lee.
вЂњWorse still, todayвЂ™s appropriations package will achieve its increased spending levels through accounting tricks and gimmicks that allow the true numbers to be hidden from the American public,” he continued. “I will continue to do whatever I can to make the federal government smaller and more transparent.вЂќ
Before the vote, Senator Lee made the following comments on the Senate floor:
вЂњMr. President, I filed this motion to recommit HR 2112 with instructions to send this вЂminibusвЂ™ back to the committee on appropriations for one simple reason.: it spends more for the same set of expenditures in fiscal year 2012 than it did in 2011 to the tune of about $10 billion. I understand that there are reasons for this excess. I understand that when we look at individual components of the 2012 provision, there may be some cuts in there.
вЂњBut the overall picture, the entire pie, is about $10 billion more than what we had in FY 2011. Unless we can be open and transparent with the American people and acknowledge the fact that we are, in fact, spending more, I think this is a problem. We’ve got to get this fiscal house in order.вЂќ