Salmon Statement on Omnibus Appropriations Bill
Matt Salmon pledges to continue to fight for smaller government and less spending
Washington—Today, January 14, 2014, Rep. Matt Salmon (AZ-05) released the following statement regarding his vote against the $1.1 trillion FY 2014 Omnibus Appropriations bill:
“As I’ve said before, the enormity of our government’s current fiscal situation requires that we make bold and sometimes difficult choices to ensure our country returns to a sustainable fiscal path. I remain 100% committed to making these tough choices and moving us towards a smaller and more efficient government.
“Today’s vote on the omnibus appropriations bill was one of these tough choices I had to make, and ultimately I believe that voting for a trillion-dollar-plus spending bill without more time to find ways on how we could reform and downsize government was something I could not support.
“Unfortunately, today’s bill spends $45 billion beyond the spending levels agreed upon in the Budget Control Act passed just three years ago.
“Furthermore, this bill also fails to incorporate strategic opportunities to implement solid fiscal reform. One of these opportunities is the reform of the National Flood Insurance Program, an important federal program for Arizona constituents. Instead of establishing market-based prices for the program in order to reduce federal spending, this bill includes language that delays reform for another year.
“Moreover, we failed to address the funding structure of PILT (Payment in Lieu of Taxes) to ensure its reliability and sustainability. As a western state, much of Arizona’s land is federally owned which makes it heavily dependent on PILT. These federal payments to our local governments help offset losses in property taxes due to non-taxable acres of federal lands within our state. The money from PILT goes to schools, roads, and emergency services. This bill should have addressed the reform of this program to ensure Washington fulfills its promise to Arizona and other Western states.
“Instead, this bill funds organizations like the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and East-West Center in Hawaii. These are only two examples of spending items we need to reprioritize.
“If we are not willing to make tough choices now, then how can we expect future Congresses to make the bold and difficult choices we are unwilling to make ourselves?
“It is my hope that moving forward we will be able to move appropriations bills through regular order and give all Members of Congress an opportunity to conduct transparent oversight of our federal spending. It is time to stop kicking the can down the road and begin taking steps towards a government that does more with less.”
Rep. Matt Salmon (AZ-05) serves on the House Committee on Foreign Affairs as Chairman of the Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere. He is also a member of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce.