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Excerpts from Chairman Paul Ryan’s Republican Address to the Nation

As Prepared for Delivery

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Washington, Jan 25, 2011 | comments

WASHINGTON – Tonight, House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) will deliver the Republican Address following the President’s State of the Union message. Chairman Ryan will address the nation from the House Budget Committee hearing room, where the Democrats’ spending spree will end and the Republicans’ push for a fiscally responsible budget that cuts spending will begin.  Following are excerpts from Chairman Ryan’s address:

REP. GABRIELLE GIFFORDS: “President Obama just addressed a Congressional chamber filled with many new faces.  One face we did not see tonight was that of our friend and colleague, Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona.  We all miss Gabby and her cheerful spirit; and we are praying for her return to the House Chamber.” 

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SPENDING: “In one of our first acts in the new majority, House Republicans voted to cut Congress’s own budget.  And just today, the House voted to restore the spending discipline that Washington sorely needs.  The reason is simple.  A few years ago, reducing spending was important.  Today, it’s imperative.  Here’s why.  We face a crushing burden of debt.  The debt will soon eclipse our entire economy, and grow to catastrophic levels in the years ahead.  On this current path, when my three children – who are now 6, 7, and 8 years old – are raising their own children, the federal government will double in size, and so will the taxes they pay.  No economy can sustain such high levels of debt and taxation.  The next generation will inherit a stagnant economy and a diminished country.  Frankly, it’s one of my greatest concerns as a parent – and I know many of you feel the same way.”

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BUDGET: “Americans are skeptical of both political parties, and that skepticism is justified – especially when it comes to spending.  So hold all of us accountable.  In this very room, the House will produce, debate, and advance a budget.  Last year – in an unprecedented failure – Congress chose not to pass, or even propose a budget.  The spending spree continued unchecked.  We owe you a better choice and a different vision.  Our forthcoming budget is our obligation to you – to show you how we intend to do things differently, how we will cut spending to get the debt down, help create jobs and prosperity, and reform government programs.”

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FISCAL CHALLENGE AHEAD: “Our nation is approaching a tipping point.  We are at a moment, where if government’s growth is left unchecked and unchallenged, America’s best century will be considered our past century. This is a future in which we will transform our social safety net into a hammock, which lulls able-bodied people into lives of complacency and dependency.  Depending on bureaucracy to foster innovation, competitiveness, and wise consumer choices has never worked – and it won’t work now.  We need to chart a new course.”

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“STIMULUS”: “The facts are clear: Since taking office, President Obama has signed into law spending increases of nearly 25% for domestic government agencies – an 84% increase when you include the failed stimulus.  All of this new government spending was sold as ‘investment.’  Yet after two years, the unemployment rate remains above 9% and government has added over $3 trillion to our debt.”

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HEALTH CARE: “What we already know about the President’s health care law is this: Costs are going up, premiums are rising, and millions of people will lose the coverage they currently have.  Job creation is being stifled by all of its taxes, penalties, mandates and fees.  Businesses and unions from around the country are asking the Obama Administration for waivers from the mandates.  Washington should not be in the business of picking winners and losers.  The President mentioned the need for regulatory reform to ease the burden on American businesses. We agree – and we think his health care law would be a great place to start. Last week, House Republicans voted for a full repeal of this law, as we pledged to do, and we will work to replace it with fiscally responsible, patient-centered reforms that actually reduce costs and expand coverage.”

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DEBT LIMIT: “Whether sold as ‘stimulus’ or repackaged as ‘investment,’ their actions show they want a federal government that controls too much; taxes too much; and spends too much in order to do too much.  And during the last two years, that is exactly what we have gotten – along with record deficits and debt – to the point where the President is now urging Congress to increase the debt limit.  We believe the days of business as usual must come to an end.  We hold to a couple of simple convictions: Endless borrowing is not a strategy; spending cuts have to come first.”

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ROLE OF GOVERNMENT: “We believe government’s role is both vital and limited – to defend the nation from attack and provide for the common defense; to secure our borders; to protect innocent life; to uphold our laws and Constitutional rights; to ensure domestic tranquility and equal opportunity; and to help provide a safety net for those who cannot provide for themselves.  We believe that the government has an important role to create the conditions that promote entrepreneurship, upward mobility, and individual responsibility.  We believe, as our founders did, that ‘the pursuit of happiness’ depends upon individual liberty; and individual liberty requires limited government.  Limited government also means effective government.  When government takes on too many tasks, it usually doesn’t do any of them very well.  It’s no coincidence that trust in government is at an all-time low now that the size of government is at an all-time high.”

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LIMITED GOVERNMENT: “We need to reclaim our American system of limited government, low taxes, reasonable regulations, and sound money, which has blessed us with unprecedented prosperity.  And it has done more to help the poor than any other economic system ever designed.  That’s the real secret to job creation – not borrowing and spending more money in Washington.  Limited government and free enterprise have helped make America the greatest nation on earth.

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