We’ve taken first step to stop spending

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, December 21, 2010

For almost two years now, we have seen an unprecedented level of government spending come out of Washington. In these trying economic times, Americans simply cannot afford more spending bills that saddle our children and grandchildren with even more debt.

Unfortunately, the policies that this liberal Congress continues to promote seem to only increase government spending, add to our deficit and ultimately lead to further tax increases.

That’s why I’ve been fighting to make sure the hard-earned money of Louisiana families already facing tough times and budget choices doesn’t go to government bureaucrats’ frivolous and wasteful pursuits.

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This past week, I was alarmed with the massive omnibus spending bill that was brought before Congress.

The enormous price tag of this bill — $1.2 trillion — was irresponsible considering the current economic state of our nation. And I was especially outraged with a provision that would directly impact, and further harm, Louisiana’s already struggling economy.

This bill included a horrible policy that would have extended the current review period for offshore exploration plans from 30 to 90 days. To date, this administration has failed to approve any new deepwater offshore permits in the 30-day window, resulting in a de facto moratorium on drilling that any Louisianian can tell you has left thousands along the Gulf Coast unemployed or at risk of losing their jobs. Tripling the review time is unacceptable and is just more proof that this administration is committed to promoting the culture that is antagonist toward American energy exploration and development.

Not only were the policies included in this massive spending bill bad for America’s economy, but the process by which the bill was crafted was unreasonable and insulting.

This liberal Congress, along with the Obama administration, has made it a habit to create significant and far-reaching policies behind the scenes.

Then, after little time to read or debate the legislation, they push Congress to make uninformed votes on policies that will affect all Americans.

The omnibus spending bill this week was no exception, which is why I joined a group of senators committed to forcing a full reading of the bill on the Senate floor before a vote could take place.

However, before the reading was set to begin, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid announced that he would not bring up the spending measure because he did not have the votes to pass it. Defeating this massive spending bill, laced with careless and harmful policies, was a huge victory for the American people.

Please let me know about any issues of importance to you and your family.

Sen. David Vitter is a Republican representing Louisiana in the U.S. Senate. He can be reached at his Washington office by mail at U.S. Senator David Vitter, U.S. Senate, 516 Hart Senate Office Building, Washington, D.C. 20510, or by phone at 202-224-4623.