|3:49 PM EDT||
Jeb Hensarling, R-TX 5th
Mr. HENSARLING. Mr. Chairman, I rise today to support the amendment of the gentleman from Indiana. Certainly there is no government agency or no government Department that is immune from having waste, fraud, or abuse and duplication; and this does indeed include the Department of Defense.
I have no doubt that there is much hard work that has been done by the gentleman from Florida, the chairman of the subcommittee, but I also believe that every single Member of this body has a responsibility, has a duty in these challenging fiscal times to root out the waste, the fraud, the abuse, and the duplication wherever they can find it.
I think that once again, as we look at how much money the taxpayers have already invested in a system that clearly does not work, when 85 percent, approximately 85 percent of the travel out of DOD is booked in other systems and only 15 percent in the DTS, clearly there are alternative systems available. GSA has already approved two E-travel systems that are being used throughout the Federal Government and could also be used by DOD.
So what we have now is already $.5 billion that is being invested in a system that doesn't seem to save any money, and certainly I don't think the case can be made that it is essential to our national security or essential to our war effort.
We are sitting here in very challenging fiscal times, when our national debt, in just a few years, has gone from $5.5 trillion to $8.5 trillion, Mr. Chairman. Of course, at the same time, tax revenues have escalated. We have personal tax revenues up 15 percent and corporate tax revenues are up 40 percent. That would seem to indicate that the challenge in the national debt is on the spending side.
So when you have 10,000 Federal programs spread across 500 to 600 different agencies, it is almost impossible for any one Member or any one committee to have effective oversight on each and every one. So I applaud the gentleman from Indiana on his work here. Because we all know that soon, soon in America's future we will face a very, very bad fork in the road. One fork is going to lead us to a Federal Government that consists of almost nothing but Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security. There
may be no Department of Defense. There may be no Border Patrol. We will see that in one generation.
The other fork in the road is going to lead to doubling of taxes on the American people. And that is unconscionable, Mr. Chairman. It is just unconscionable. We all know the old saying a billion here, a billion there, and pretty soon we are talking about real money. Well, it looks like we have at least $.5 billion here that has been spent on a system that nobody is using, that costs way beyond what the marketplace is charging now, and there are alternative systems developed by private enterprise
that are doing a better job and being utilized by others.
So, indeed, our Nation faces two great threats. The war on terror, of course, is the greatest threat; but we have another threat, and that is out-of-control spending. And every Member, every Member of this body has the responsibility to root out the waste, the fraud, and the abuse; and that is why I salute the gentleman from Indiana for what he has done.
I don't think the case has been made that this is essential to our national defense. I don't think the case has been made that it is helping taxpayers. So we need to prevent future tax increases. We need to prevent more debt being placed upon our children and our grandchildren, and I think we need to adopt the amendment of the gentleman from Indiana, and I once again salute him for his work.