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Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., took to the Senate floor last night to decry billions of dollars in out-of-control federal spending and to urge his colleagues to stop spending money the country doesn’t have. He also pointed out budget tricks that waive budget rules and put our nation even more into debt.

“We have been asking Americans to tighten their spending belts and take responsibility for their personal debt. It is about time that the representatives of the people do the same. The national debt just hit $13 trillion for the first time in history. I can’t think of a better reason to stop spending,” said Enzi. “This bill is a far cry from a responsible spending bill. This bill represents what is reprehensible about the conduct of the federal government - unchecked, unpaid for, deficit spending.”                            
The Senate is debating the passage of H.R. 4899, the $59 billion supplemental appropriations bill that includes money for ongoing military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, support for Haiti, disaster recovery money for the Federal Emergency Management Agency for past disasters and extra funds for the Department of Veterans Affairs. Enzi took issue with provisions in the bill that were labeled as “emergency” spending and therefore able to bypass spending limits when in reality those expenditures were not emergencies but costs that could have been budgeted for ahead of time.
 “In April 2009, when making an emergency supplemental appropriations request, President Obama said ‘We should not label military costs as emergency funds so as to avoid our responsibility to abide by the spending limitations set forth by the Congress. After years of budget gimmicks and wasteful spending, it is time to end the era of irresponsibility in Washington.’ I couldn’t agree more. Congress and the Administration need to find a better way to fund current military operations. Most of these funds are expected and should be addressed in the regular budget process,” said Enzi. “I have the greatest admiration for today’s service members and veterans for their commitment to preserving our freedoms and maintaining our national security. I must question, however, using their sacrifices to justify irresponsible spending by this Congress.”
The Senate will continue debating the supplemental appropriations bill with a vote on final passage likely scheduled before the end of the week.
For text from Enzi’s floor statement, click here.