Freshman Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.) on Thursday evening apologized to his constituents and the nation for the failure of Congress to rein in federal spending during the first session of the 112th Congress.
“As we enter the final days of 2011, and approach the end of this first session of the 112th Congress, I must take the time to offer an apology to the citizens of the 22nd congressional district of Florida, and to all my fellow citizens across this great nation,” West said on the House floor.
“It is not because we haven’t changed the conversation here in Washington D.C., but because I would have hoped our exertions would have been, as a collective body, a bit greater.”
West said failing to pass a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution was a “great disappointment” to him, and is a prime example of a “lack of exertion” of the Congress, but also cited the need to rein in federal regulations and do more to help create an environment for economic growth.
West blamed Democrats for blocking progress on these issues.
“The House of Representatives has tried to work with the Senate and President Obama, yet they refused to listen to the will of the people,” he said. “Tabling the Cut, Cap and Balance piece of legislation during the debt debate is a prime example.
“Instead, they wished to remain on the same path that has proved to be a failure year after year,” West added. “They refused to believe that we need major structural reforms. They did not heed the message of the American people of November 2010.”
West also criticized President Obama for failing to provide leadership in the face of dwindling American competitiveness, rising government debt, and sinking home values.
“Yet with these abysmal statistics, all we hear from the big megaphone of the White House is that we need to tax people, particularly certain people, more,” he said, adding that the apparent White House goal is to “create more victims in America.”
“There is no leadership emanating form the White House,” he continued. “Instead, we have policy by election cycle sound bites, but the purpose is just to get reelected.”
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