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June 14--  Earlier this week, the House of Representatives began consideration of H.R. 2740, a Fiscal Year 2020 spending package for the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, Defense, State and Foreign Operations, and Energy and Water Development.

U.S. Congressman Rick W. Allen (R-GA-12) offered an amendment to H.R. 2740 to reduce State and Foreign Operations spending by one percent, which will be taken up for a vote next week.

We are nearly six months into the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives, and here we are debating amendments to an almost $1 trillion minibus – $176 billion above current budget caps –  without even a glimpse of a Fiscal Year 2020 budget proposal from House Democrats.

You might ask; how did we get to this point? Well, my colleagues on the other side of the aisle are operating on the premise that an increase in defense spending justifies increases in non-defense spending across the board.

Now and always, strengthening our defense should remain priority number one, but providing more than twice as much additional funding in Fiscal Year 2020 for non-defense programs as for defense programs is simply irresponsible.

Additionally, if Congress does not come to a budget cap agreement, these spending levels would lead to sequestration, which would be devastating to our military. Folks, as a former business owner and someone who has experience operating within a budget, I am appalled by the lack of fiscal responsibility being shown here today.

With an almost $22 trillion national debt, this minibus is a complete disservice to our country and our fellow Americans. If we wish to avoid passing an insurmountable debt along to future generations, we must act immediately to tighten the purse strings on Washington’s spending habits.

My amendment today is simple – it would reduce State and Foreign Operations spending by 1% for Fiscal Year 2020. Democrats increased this division by $2 billion, bringing foreign non-defense spending to a whopping $56 billion. If you do the math, my amendment would cut $560 million.

Even with my one percent cut – this division would STILL increase spending for Fiscal Year 20 compared to Fiscal Year 19.

So in my mind, my Democratic colleagues should support my amendment as they will still be spending a lot more of your hard earned money, just a bit less than they intended. It is not my intention to cut funding going towards our critical ally Israel. And while our diplomatic efforts abroad are necessary, it is equally as important that we take a hard look at the balance sheet and make appropriate cuts wherever possible.

Also – just to be clear, it was my goal to offer an amendment to reduce spending by 1% across all branches in this minibus spending package, with the exception of defense. However, House Democrats blocked this effort – continuing to promote out-of-control government spending and neglecting our national debt crisis, and only ruled this amendment in order.

Mr. Speaker, I am the proud grandfather of thirteen grandchildren and I believe it is my duty to do everything in my power to avoid placing a $22 trillion – and rising – burden on their backs. I urge my colleagues in this body to support my amendment today and take a small step towards bringing fiscal responsibility back to Washington. And with that, I reserve.