Spring Cleaning: House to Cut $15 Billion in Unused Funds
Congressman Kevin McCarthy spoke on the House floor today in support of H.R. 3, the Spending Cuts to Expired and Unnecessary Programs Act.
Full remarks are below, or watch online here.
“We are approaching the end of spring, but there is still enough time for a good spring cleaning.
“For families, that may mean doing yardwork or cleaning out a closet – maybe giving unused items to charity.
“For Congress – it means tackling long-overdue budgetary spring cleaning.
“There are billions and billions of taxpayer dollars – originally set up to fund different programs and projects – that cannot or will not be used for their intended purpose.
“Tonight the House will do something about it. We will take a first step in cleaning up the federal government’s accounts by voting on the Spending Cuts to Expired and Unnecessary Programs Act.
“We aren’t talking about spare change here – tonight we have the opportunity to return $15 billion dollars – that’s billion with a ‘b’ – to Treasury.
“As members – we are charged with being good stewards of taxpayer money. That is a responsibility we all have – it shouldn’t be a partisan exercise. And historically – it hasn’t been.
“Congress accepted 214 of Ronald Reagan’s rescissions. It accepted 111 of Bill Clinton’s.
“President Trump’s spending cut request is a straightforward and smart way to trim a bloated federal budget.
“So where do these savings come from, you might ask. Have you ever heard of the Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing Loan Program?
“It’s an Obama-era subsidy program to green car companies like Fisker Automotive, which defaulted on its $192 million loan. Think Solyndra, but for luxury cars.
“This failed subsidy program hasn’t issued a loan since 2011, yet it has $4.33 billion sitting unused in its account.
“Can any member think of a good reason why that money should continue sitting in that account, where it cannot and will not be used or will be wasted on other, non-related programs? I’d love to hear a reason, but I don’t think one is coming.
“So what else does this bill clean up? It also brings back expired funds from the CHIP program.
“Now – before anyone claims Republicans are cutting CHIP funding – let’s look at the facts.
“Republicans passed and President Trump signed the longest reauthorization of CHIP in the program’s history, guaranteeing its funding for 10 years – a full decade.
“Republicans have made sure CHIP isn’t going anywhere. We have removed any uncertainty about the stability of funding for that program.
“The funds we are rescinding tonight were appropriated long ago and will not be used for their intended purpose now. And in fact – Democrats voted to rescind those exact CHIP funds just months ago because they know they can’t be used for their intended purpose.
“I’d like to remind my colleagues that the Minority Whip said he wouldn’t oppose – and I quote – “money laying in an account that has not been spent for 1, 2, 3 years.” He even called it “a reasonable thing to do.”
“So instead of partisan rhetoric and doomsday speeches, let’s see this bill for what it really is – a smart approach to cleaning up unused accounts in the federal budget.
“Before tonight’s vote each and every member of the House should consider this question: If this body cannot be trusted to reclaim money that will not or cannot be used for its intended purpose . . . Can we really be trusted to save money anywhere else? I yield the floor.”