May 2nd, 2009
12:17 PM ET
5 years ago

Jenkins: ‘Washington’s books are a mess’

(CNN) – Kansas Rep. Lynn Jenkins said Saturday that while she likes President Barack Obama, she’s worried about where the Democrats will take the country.

“This is my first year in Congress, and what I’ve seen since I arrived in Washington has been truly eye-opening,” said Jenkins, the first freshman member of Congress to deliver the weekly GOP address.

“As a mother with two children, I'm concerned – like any mom would be – about the debt we’re piling on future generations,” she said.

Jenkins - who was the state treasurer in Kansas for six years and practiced as a certified public accountant for nearly two decades - slammed the stimulus package, the omnibus spending bill and the recently passed multi-trillion-dollar budget as examples that “Washington’s books are a mess.”

Republicans and some Democrats have criticized Obama’s spending plans as wasteful and excessive, but the president has said the hefty price tag is necessary, given the scope of the economic crisis.

“This week, we marked the president’s 100th day in office. And while, like most of you, I like the president personally, I think the Democrats’ first 100 days running Washington can be summed up in three words: spending, taxing, and borrowing,” she said.

“Middle-class families and small businesses across America are tightening their belts and making sacrifices each and every day during this recession, and Republicans believe that it’s time for Washington to do the same.”

Republicans, she said, “are fighting for middle-class families and small businesses every day here in Washington.”

“And we are ready to work in a bipartisan way on real solutions to create jobs, rebuild your savings, and get our economy moving again. Let’s hope the Democrats in charge are as well.”

Full transcript after the jump

“This is Kansas Congresswoman Lynn Jenkins.

“This is my first year in Congress, and what I’ve seen since I arrived in Washington has been truly eye-opening. The pace that Democrats in Congress and the White House are spending your tax dollars is simply staggering. A trillion dollars for the so-called ‘stimulus’ bill. Nearly a half-trillion on an ‘omnibus’ spending measure with nearly 9,000 un-scrutinized earmarks. And $3.6 trillion on a budget that Democrats just passed this week, which includes trillion-dollar deficits as far as the eye can see. As a mother with two children, I'm concerned – like any mom would be – about the debt we’re piling on future generations.

“I know a thing or two about handling taxpayer dollars. I was the state treasurer in Kansas for six years before I came to Congress, and before that I practiced public accounting as a certified public accountant for nearly two decades so trust me when I say Washington’s books are a mess.

“Remember when the President promised strict oversight of how states and local communities are spending those critical ‘stimulus’ dollars? Well, in the last few weeks, we’ve heard about plenty of ‘stimulus’ waste. Taxpayer dollars earmarked for a homeless program in a town with no homeless problem. Millions to extend an ‘Artwalk’ in New York. And more than a million dollars for sidewalks and trash cans outside a casino in Michigan. This bill was supposed to be about jobs, but it’s gone off the rails in practically no time at all and millions of your tax dollars are being wasted. It’s quickly turning into a symbol of everything wrong with Washington, D.C. – unchecked spending, no accountability and oversight, and more and more debt piled onto our children and grandchildren.

“This week, we marked the President’s 100th day in office. And while, like most of you, I like the President personally, I think the Democrats’ first 100 days running Washington can be summed up in three words: spending, taxing, and borrowing. The plans they’ve passed in the first 100 days will add more to our nation’s public debt than all previous Presidents combined in 200 plus years. They’ve taken away President Obama’s promised middle-class tax cut and paved the way for a new national energy tax to be paid by every American who dares to flip on a light switch.

“Middle-class families and small businesses across America are tightening their belts and making sacrifices each and every day during this recession, and Republicans believe that it’s time for Washington to do the same. We offered a budget that curbs spending, creates jobs by cutting taxes, and controls the debt. We’ve also offered proposals to help rebuild your savings, revitalize the housing market, and create twice as many jobs as the Democrats’ ‘stimulus’ at half the cost.

“More than two million Americans have lost their jobs this year, and by all accounts, our national recession has gotten worse than expected. Americans are worried, and rightfully so. They know that we can’t spend our way back to prosperity. Republicans are fighting for middle-class families and small businesses every day here in Washington. And we are ready to work in a bipartisan way on real solutions to create jobs, rebuild your savings, and get our economy moving again. Let’s hope the Democrats in charge are as well.

“Thank you for listening.”


Filed under: Uncategorized
soundoff (154 Responses)
  1. Tony in Maine

    The last people who should be making policy decisions, whether in business or government, are those trained as accountants. Like children, they should be seen, but not heard.

    They are usually blind to anything not mathematically provable. The human side is rarely a consideration. Businesses die as a result of terrible management decisions made by accountants looking to pump the short term net.

    May 2, 2009 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  2. Lexie

    Republican Jenkins didn't seem to mind or notice the mess the books were in during the Bush Administration but now that the Republican party is the minority she seems to be obsessed with fiscal responsibility. Idiot.

    May 2, 2009 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  3. GOP Guy from FL

    Where were these ppl when George W Bush was in power, the GOP had all the chances possible to do something for this country but we messed things up. If there is any GOPer outhere that's willing to pay attention and listen do the math, GW Bush was in power for 8 long yrs and now we want the american ppl to beleive that in 100 days that Pres Oboma been in power we found the solution for all the issues that this country is facing. please

    May 2, 2009 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  4. RyanD.

    We have to have debt passed to future generations, want to know why? The GOP has spent 25 years NOT investing in America.

    The American Dream is OVER otherwise. The GOP has already ruined our children's future, and this is a last ditch effort to save it.

    Where were these GOP leaders when Bush was spending 1 Trillion on bombs and bullets? Its ok for my kids to have debt from death, but not from infrastructure?

    GTFOH

    May 2, 2009 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  5. Brima

    She is a freshwoman and does not know what the last adminitration did to the country,so she has to learn and stop been partisan.

    May 2, 2009 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  6. J.C.

    It's quite true that you can now see college students go hungry after their parents lost jobs. It would be hard to take the finals with a hungry stomach.

    May 2, 2009 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  7. Dexter Skagway

    Another conservative selling fear.

    Fear! Fear!! FEAR!!!

    Fear only motivates for so long. After a while it creates a revulsion against those who are selling fear for their own selfish purposes.

    One day a new wave conservatism will emerge from the chaos, hopefully one that has better, more constructive ideas and fewer tendancies to villify those who disagree as terrorists, socialists, unAmericans, and all the other hate-froth we have endured for so many years.

    May 2, 2009 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  8. Allison

    Where has Republican Lynn Jenkins been for the past eight years?
    She just rubber stamped everything and anything that George and the Boys put in front of her!!!

    May 2, 2009 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  9. Zachary Kirkpatrick

    Where have her complaints been for the last 8 years? Republican motto: War, war, war, tax, tax, tax. "Republicans are fighting for middle class families." This hardly deserves anything but derision, as if anyone at this point could insist that this is in fact the case without immediately collapsing in ridicule.

    May 2, 2009 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  10. LA2NC

    Republicans, she said, “are fighting for middle-class families and small businesses every day here in Washington.”

    She's kidding right? This from the party that came up with a "budget" that was mostly tax cuts for the rich and big business. Republicans don't have the best interest of this country in mind. If she knows so much about handling tax dollars, I'd like to hear her take on the last 8 years . Give me a break.

    May 2, 2009 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  11. JonDie

    "Kansas Rep. Lynn Jenkins said Saturday that while she likes President Barack Obama, she’s worried about where the Democrats will take the country

    Dear Ms. Jenkins,

    Welcome to Earth. From what planet are you visiting?

    I'll fill you in. From 2001 to 2009, YOUR Republican president, with rubber-stamp support from ALL YOUR Republicans in Congress, invaded Iraq based on lies and then proceeded to use Iraq as an excuse for the biggest re-distribution of wealth in history...from working and middle class Americans to the richest of the rich, our corporate leaders and oil companies.

    In the process, YOUR Republican president got more than 50,000 US soldiers needlessly killed or wounded, and lost OUR leadership role in the world at a time when we need it more than ever, to tackle the terrible situation in Pakistan and Afghanistan (YOUR president's "victory" in Iraq has been a pyrrhic victory indeed).

    Yes, there were a lot of gutless Democrats who also went along with YOUR Republican president and YOUR Republican leaders. But in the public opinion arena YOUR Republicans were unfairly and quite successfully trashing the Democrats for being unpatriotic.

    If you really mean what you say, YOU should change parties, or least leave the GOP and become an independent because YOUR party has NOTHING to offer but more of the Bush years.

    May 2, 2009 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  12. Emma, San Jose

    And how would you do it differently, Rep. Jenkins? There was no clear solution in your message. Many Americans do not trust your party's
    beliefs and prefer you not criticize unless you can get your own act together.

    May 2, 2009 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  13. Dave

    lady, go back to momming like you were doing before this year. "spending, taxing and borrowing?" we're not being taxed any more than we were last year. stop with the tired republicanisms.

    May 2, 2009 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  14. Right Leaning Independent

    Amen, finally one person in congress that truly sees what we are doing to future generations with this out of control spending from both sides of the aisle!

    May 2, 2009 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  15. Martin

    If Republicans really had middle America's interests at heart, they'd just tell everyone to vote Dem. But I suspect a Republican congressperson thinks a middle American is a multi- millionaire, white, evangelical and has been divorced 3 times, because they obviously love marriage so much.

    May 2, 2009 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  16. Jim Doyle

    “And we are ready to work in a bipartisan way on real solutions to create jobs, rebuild your savings, and get our economy moving again. Let’s hope the Democrats in charge are as well.”

    Right. And where are these real solutions? All you and your party have offered, over and over again are real complaints and real obstruction to any, I repeat ANY attempts to get this economy back on track.

    Republicans, she said, “are fighting for middle-class families and small businesses every day here in Washington.”

    Fighting for the oil companies, the healthcare companies and big businesses is more like it.

    Washington's books are a mess all right, and it's your party that made them that way. Go home to Kansas, sweetheart.

    May 2, 2009 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  17. Hopeful in America

    First term Republican congress-person and she knows all she'll ever need to know...how to read the GOP talking points!

    May 2, 2009 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  18. C.T.

    I twitch at the word "bipartisan" from a republican. But I will give her the doubt is sincerity. Ready to work to get things in order? HOW? Please be specific.....

    May 2, 2009 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  19. Tom in Alaska

    Let's just sum up this any president and congress of either party in control. I'll do it in three words "to" spending, taxing, and borrowing. This woman isn't telling us anything what we don't already know. If you want the goverenment in the black kill meicare, social security, cut defence spending, stop all aid to countries etc.........If she is concrened show by example congress can stop their auto raises and take a 30% pay cut they don't earn their wages anway.

    May 2, 2009 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  20. Jennifer Stafford

    It seems to me that all Republicans in Washington, including Rep. Jenkins, have a short memory as to who, what, when, and HOW the books got "messed up" in the first place. They may state that they are fighting for middle class families and small businesses but in reality are fighting everything Obama's trying to do to get this nation back on its' feet (as usual saying one thing and doing another). Once again, Republicans are worried more about gaining power than rolling up their sleeves and working to make this country strong again. I say "Shame on you!" to all of you and admire Specter for speaking his mind and leaving. It's nothing short of pathetic and I pray to God that some day, sometime, they will have an epithany and become part of the solution. I see them as a party of fear, greed and discord; nothing else.

    May 2, 2009 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  21. Bud in NC

    The Republican party fighting every day for the families and small businesses? What a laugh. So this is the NEW Repub talking point? Smile and say how they like Obama "personally". Folks the truth is in watching what they are doing. They vote NO in unison on everything the President is doing to help families and small businesses facing financial hardship. Sorry, Rep Jenkins, your smooth talk is only fooling the fools. Do you believe your own lies?

    May 2, 2009 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  22. Roger

    This maybe her first year in congress, but the GOP have been totally in charge 6 of the past 8 years and are responsible for the mess we are in today so please just stop the BS...you are just spewing out the same old GOP message that worked in the past but we have opened our eyes IT WAS NOT WORKING...we needed change & we needed someone to lead us out of your partys MESS....

    May 2, 2009 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  23. Scott

    Rep. Jenkins,

    Maybe you should explain to your children that years of Republican governance have left America with broken financial systems, crumbling infrastructure, antiquated health care that only the well-off can afford, and polluting, unsustainable energy economies. Your party preferred tax cuts for the rich over building for the future. Now we have to re-build and it's going to cost money to do it. The rich got all the breaks under Republican governance, now its time to pay back. A good start would be repealing the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest 10%. Then we can invest in the things we need to give your children, and everyone else's, a nice future again.

    May 2, 2009 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  24. Brian

    If any of you, at this point, still believe this corporate, enslaving propaganda, then you deserve to suffer.

    May 2, 2009 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  25. Larry

    Sounds a lot like "HOOVER" economics to me – lets stop the spending and borrowing so that the washington books will be balanced and the rest of country can go down the toilet – and to think this lady is a accountant – wow.

    May 2, 2009 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7

Post a comment


 

CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.