May 2nd, 2009
12:17 PM ET
6 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. Dave

    The Republicans have never, and never will, work for the middle class. They only care about the RICH!!!!!

    May 2, 2009 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  2. John

    Another toad following the rest of the toads...

    I find it funny listening and reading the comments of the Republican toads that complain so egregiously about spending, waste and pork. Now they are fighting for the middle class...barf!
    They have never and I mean never been a party for the middle class. Nor for minorities, nor for what is best for America. What they have been for is what is best for the Rich, Powerful and those who fill their pockets. They started this mess and now complain about the spending without offering any solutions other than "NO".
    Now the Republican toads are going on the road. Cantor, Boehner, Romney side show. Yes folks, it is Carnival time and these toads want to dress up as normal working class people as if they have your interests at heart. As the saying goes, "lipstick on a pig is still a pig".

    May 2, 2009 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  3. Kris in Atlanta

    Save it sweetie. You forgot to include the billions in 'earmarks' that Haliburton received-and we still have no explanation about why gas prices soared to unbelievable heights last year, when the GOP was in the White House. I guess Republicans are hoping we have short memories. Not only is the GOP the party of no, they are the party of no principal, no explanation, and no understanding of Americans' real concerns.

    And to make matters worse, a snowballing story is RNC 'boss' Michael Steele acknowledging that President Obama is a magic Negro. Ridiculous. GOP just please go away.

    May 2, 2009 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  4. Enlightened Voter

    Lady stop lying please. The middle class and working people are the LAST thing the rethugs are thinking about. Your worried about President Obama's spending? Well then you would be horrified at the the rethugs spent money to rebuild Iraq. Atleast President Obama is rebuilding America.

    May 2, 2009 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  5. U.

    Why didnt she complain when the republicans spent billions of dollars?

    May 2, 2009 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  6. NH Fred

    And we are paying for the "war" how?

    I love it when the Republicans state "the Democrats’ first 100 days running Washington can be summed up in three words: spending, taxing, and borrowing".

    What, the past eight years we've been paying for a "war" by not raising taxes or impinging on our childrens future with massive debt? Give me a break, this is not a "new" message from Republicans, just the same, old tired rhetoric of a group looking for an image.

    May 2, 2009 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  7. JB

    Another hypocrite Republican member of Congress. I am getting really TIRED of hearing Republicans continued labeling of the Democrats as "spending, taxing, and borrowing". Their continued ranting of the Democratic Party taking the country in the wrong direction is also pathetic. Well, I am concerned with the direction the country has gone after more than 20 years of Republican rule since Reagan. Both parties like BIG government. The Republicans continue to promote tax cuts only for the wealthy, and a HUGE military and massive military spending to police the world. ENOUGH. I pay taxes too, but I am truly upset with all of this spending on more tax cuts for the wealthy and the military.

    People tend to forget that Deficit Spending also began under 8 years of the Reagan Presidency. During those years evolved the Republican era of "Tax cuts for the wealthy" and more deficit spending on a massive military. Pure hypocracy. As for today's Republican congress, where was all of your concern for goverment spending under the G.W. Bush presidency that more than doubled the national debt due to foreign wars and MORE tax cuts for wealthy Americans at the expense of the "Average" working class and middle class citizen.

    May 2, 2009 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  8. Felonious Monk

    They talk about the debt now, but now when Bush was piling up a debt.

    Double standard.

    May 2, 2009 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  9. Steve, Philadelphia

    A little late to start worrying about the deficit, toots. Where were you in 2002?

    May 2, 2009 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  10. Ben

    No one knows exactly what our country should have done to resolve the economic problems we faced but I do know if we had sat back and done nothing we would have surely crashed. It is very easy to sit back in the position the GOP finds itself in – out of power to do anything but complain, and say their party has the "all the answers" to the country's woes. Lets be honest. Neither party has the answer. Americans elected the current president to make changes in the direction the country was headed. This was the President's directive. This is what we are doing – right or wrong. If the country's economy improves, Mr Obama will be elected to a second term. If it fails, a new president will be elected. Simple as that!

    May 2, 2009 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  11. Gary S.C.

    Only a year in office? Didn't take long for you to lose your mind.
    Everything you are talking about has happened over the last 8 years. Not 100 days.
    Where are all those proposals you talk about? In a 15 page pamphlet.

    May 2, 2009 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  12. wherehaveyoubeen

    I wonder where was Mrs. Jenkins comments when ex president Bush and his cronies drove the nation three generations into debt.

    Think about this Mrs. Jenkins, two wars at billions of dollars a day, a loss of millions of americans savings and wages, as then president Bush sat and watched the nation sink even more into debt.

    I do not understand how the GOP and its constituents can say this current administration is piling up debt for future generations.

    The american people are not stupid, and even the most illiterate saw the out of control spending with Bush, Cheney, Rove, and their support of their big business cronies.

    I did not hear a soul from the conservative right complain under the watch of the Bush administration's loss of jobs, spending on two high priced wars, and giving corporations the green light to take advantage of the american worker under the guise of preserving jobs.

    One question to you Mrs. Jenkins, where was your comments during the last eight years of financial calamity in the country?

    If you are a true accountant like you say you are, please do not try to shift the blame to an incoming administration with 100 days to get your point across.

    May 2, 2009 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  13. She's the new voice....

    and knows of what she speaks--a mom and a CPA, it's clear to her that Obama is spending us into oblivion. Each of you, your children, and your grandchildren now owe over $ 186,000 each and each of you will pay over $ 100,000 just in interest to cover Obama's spending.

    May 2, 2009 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  14. Mia and Mike

    Congresswoman Jenkins, I appreciate you announcing that this is your first year in your position. However, please understand how your statement is going to be interpreted by the majority of us voters:

    We are not surprised at all that the books are a mess- President Bush's administration purposely coveted the full amounts of spending for the Iraq War and all the other subsequent costs that the administration kept off the books regarding national security. Thank you for confirming that our curent President was given a huge mess to clean up and has thus far done a darn good job within 100 days of taking over the job!

    May 2, 2009 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  15. Mia and Mike

    Also, it's interseting that in the last two days, vocal GOP Congress members are all stating that they "like the President personally" but disagree with his policies. Get out of here!! None of you "like" the President and we all know it.

    May 2, 2009 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  16. Seattle Sue

    Was Lynn Jenkins concerned about where Bush took our country the past eight years? Our country is a mess and can not be corrected in a short period of time.

    May 2, 2009 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  17. Melissa

    The books aren't what we're worried about dear. What we're worried about is jobs.

    May 2, 2009 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  18. kim, salem

    Where the Democrats and President Obama are trying to take this country is out of the nightmarish mess created by 8 years of Republican rule-one that brought us mired in a war based on false pretense, a country awash in a mountain of debt, and an economy on the very brink of collapse. I find it disingenuine for the Republican party to now claim that they are the party of fiscal responsibility – we tried their way for 8 years and the results speak for themselves. Republicans, offer up solutions on how to get out of this mess without spending money, please – we'd love to hear them. The only answers you offer are more of the very same policies that got us to this point, answers laced with the word no on anything the Democrats propose, combined with endless criticism and hate from your right-wing talking heads. Democrats are seeking a way forward and are being earnest in their search for solutions.

    May 2, 2009 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  19. Melissa

    The smoke and mirrors stuff that the Republican Party is trying to pull is just smoke and mirrors. We all know what the real problem is and it isn't what the Republicans are saying it is. They are trying the distraction technique and it isn't going to work. We need to deal with the actual problems first.

    May 2, 2009 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  20. Boisepoet

    Gotta love this quote:
    “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."

    As opposed to Bush's 8 years of cutting taxes for the rich, invading foreign nations for their oil, and borrowing heavily to pay for tax cuts and war.

    Republicans, they have always been hypocrites, but their demise at the polls has finally exposed it to the broader public.

    May 2, 2009 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  21. Ken

    "And we are ready to work in a bi-partisan way."

    Tell that to Boehner!

    May 2, 2009 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  22. Cystem Phailure

    As Jenkins is a "mother with two children", I wonder why she wasn't concerned about the debt being left to future generations when it was DUHbya who was doing the leaving? Bush managed to run huge deficits even though he somehow kept much of his war expenditures off the books, so the true amount could be blamed on whoever followed him.

    May 2, 2009 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  23. Steve, Columbia SC

    Exactly.........finally a representative that is not blinded in Congress, and clearly sees reality.

    May 2, 2009 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  24. Cali Mike

    The representative sounds sincere but I think she's been taken in by the lies the leaders of the "republican" party tell her. Their actions haven't backed up their words in a VERY long time

    What is eye opening is the amount of war debt that the Bush Administration hid for the past 8 long years

    May 2, 2009 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  25. Honorable Kansas Vet

    I personnally would not let Lynn Jenkins do my taxes let along balance my check book.

    May 2, 2009 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
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