WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Rep. Charlie Dent (PA-15) today spoke in favor of a substitute amendment to H.R. 1, the Fiscal Year 2011 Continuing Resolution, he supported with his colleagues, Reps. Steven LaTourette (OH-14) and Christopher Gibson (NY-20). The amendment would have replaced provisions in H.R. 1 with government-wide spending cuts to all non-security related federal programs, creating approximately $121 billion in savings from President Obama’s Fiscal Year 2011 spending request.
“The amendment I favored better represented true shared sacrifice,” Dent said. “Under our proposal, every federal program would have faced reasonable funding cuts, but no single program would see its federal support completely eliminated. This framework would have guaranteed better balance and distribution among funding cuts as we work to restrain spending over the final months of Fiscal Year 2011. I am disappointed our efforts were not successful.”
The amendment would have preserved funding for valued and effective programs, including Assistant for Firefighters Grants (AFG), Community Development Block Grants (CDBG), Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS), Community Services Block Grants (CSBG), Low Income Housing Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grants, the Weed and Seed program, and others.
Following the amendment’s withdrawal by Rep. LaTourette due to an unforeseen, technical drafting error involving supplemental appropriations, Dent voted for the underlying bill, which will serve as a starting point in the legislative process to fund the government through the conclusion of Fiscal Year 2011. H.R. 1 will now be sent to the U.S. Senate for consideration. To prevent a government shutdown, a spending agreement must be reached between the House, Senate and President Obama before March 4, 2011.
“The spending habits of Washington have clearly become unsustainable,” Dent explained. “In recent years, federal spending and the nation’s debt have increased to record levels. It was imperative Congress use this Continuing Resolution to initiate the long and difficult process of reigning in federal spending. As a member of the Committee on Appropriations, I am eager to exercise rigorous oversight of all federal programs to identify further savings and efficiency improvements during the development of Fiscal Year 2012 appropriations legislation.”
During one of the most transparent and accountable deliberations in recent history, members of the House debated over 500 amendments to H.R. 1. At the conclusion of more than 90 hours of work, the bill passed by a vote of 235 to 189.