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. will

    The Republicans say that there is only three words that define the Democrats, Spending, Taxing, Borrowing. The Republicans only have ONE solution: Cut Taxes for the Wealthy, and borrow the money so that they can pay for the tax cut.

    May 2, 2009 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  2. Hammer

    She fails to mention that the debt we are adding to was expanded dramatically by our previous president and the Republican led government. If there are so many good ideas the GOP has, why aren't they taking it to the streets and informing the public just what they are?
    The fact is, they don't have any ideas, they just know the solutions the Democrats have are wrong. That's why Obama said if they have a different solution, he is open to hear it.

    Why doesn't the GOP spend money running TV ads explaining their solution to getting us out of this mess. it's because tax cuts don't help when you don't have a job or any money.

    May 2, 2009 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  3. Howard

    Lynn Jenkins doesn't know what she is talking about. I am 80 years old and have been around for quit a few republican and democrat presidents and there has never been a republican president or congresman that has tried to pass bills to help the middle class american.They have tried to break up the unions voted against minimum wage hikes and ever thing to keep the average worker down.

    May 2, 2009 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  4. Party of NO strikes again

    ok, now they're bringing out their unknown folks in hopes to persuade the American people to not believe in Obama.

    C'mon guys, give it a rest and focus instead on helping America.

    In case you haven't noticed, this country is having an economic crisis and all you're doing is being a part of the problem, not the solution.

    May 2, 2009 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  5. Peter

    Rep JLynn Jenkins!, have you ever heard about time value of money "Finance 101" ? Let me jog your minds alittle bit, what a dollar is worth today wont be the same next year, therefore, If your party had solved most of the problems we are facing today eight years ago we couldn't be spending that much today!. Again here is another fallacy of your reasoning, if we dont act now! it will cost your children tripple of what we are using now. Its like burying your head in the sand like the ostrich and let problems solve themselve.

    May 2, 2009 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  6. rudolph serrano

    I live to see the peso, go down, from 1.10 per dll. to 10.000. per dll
    I dont want to see this happen to our dll. If democrats keep selling the country like tey are doing. we are going to see this happen faster that
    you can belive. we need to stop selling our country. and sweatout this times.

    May 2, 2009 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  7. elana

    Evidently, any Republican politician who arrives on Capitol Hill must be given a "complete book and DVD/CD package" upon their arrival documenting EXACTLY what, as a Republican, you MUST believe and you MUST say to not only your constituents, but to EVERY person that may cross your path! It ceases to amaze me the "lingo" that every one of them has. There is no spin on their remarks! It is just like a person who is brain-washed, and can NEVER break out of the nonsense, but continues to "hang on" to a philosophy that is complete dead and buried! Dedication at its best! Common sense and the willingness to be a person who can speak your own truth without the "Fear" of others - Impossible for the Republican Party!!

    May 2, 2009 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  8. Mark, B'ham., Al.

    This is a theme the republicans need to get the message out on before it is too late for future generations. America has got to stop the hand outs to companies and individuals who are able to work even if they think the job is below them which is Americans attitude more often than it should be. Research and manufacturing need to develope for the free market not what government wants or thinks we as consumers should have. I'm sorry but the taxpayers do not owe you a cell phone, car, home,computer, or a life! If you want these, get a job and save for it.

    May 2, 2009 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  9. I used to like CNN but not anymore!

    I guess the GOP are just going to keep on stuffing one "show piece" after another down the throats of the 21% of the "deaf, dumb, and blind" sheep they have left until they find one they can digest and that won't get puked back up in their faces. Nothing new to see here folks. Please keep the line moving!

    May 2, 2009 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  10. LINDA

    How ironic that the Republicans are just now talking about helping the middle class and working poor. Where were they durning the Bush years?

    May 2, 2009 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  11. Republicans are the American Taliban

    Funny that you are worried about spending....where are all the clothes that Sarah Palin spent $150,000 on? Why aren't you worried about all of that spending and where the clothes are? Spending, stealing, and lying!

    May 2, 2009 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  12. Pat Campbell

    Don't you just love the Republicans? They let Bush spend us into oblivian financing the ill-fated Iraqi war, turned a blind eye to the economic downfall perpetuated by the Bush cronies on Wall Street and in the banking industry, and now they blame President Obama for the mess.

    Thank goodness the American people see the Republicans for what they truly are: total hypocrites who shall continue to be voted out of office.

    May 2, 2009 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  13. Liberal and Proud of It dot com

    Sounds like more Conservative mealy-mouthed propaganda to me. This accountant needs to review the books of the Conservative Administrations that put us in this mess. It is so typical of Conservative thought to never, never, never take responsibility for what you have done. Reagan tripled the national debt. Bush1 increased it by a third. Clinton increased it by a third, but it was going down. Bush2 increased the national debt from four trillion to ten trillion. He was even more irresponsible than Reagan.

    Republicans today are like the man who killed both his parents so he could get his inheritance sooner. When caught, he asks the courth to show mercy on him because he's an orphan.

    May 2, 2009 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  14. Mark, B'ham., Al.

    Washington D.C is good at spending the taxpayers money but not tracking where it goes and what it does. The estimate of a project is always low for political reason to pass it and then we find out when it is too late the real cost.

    May 2, 2009 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  15. trotsky

    I really believe it is hopeless. You have almost half the country on the dole, free riding if you will, and Democrat party officials raising the bribes daily.

    I ask CNN and its cadre of brownshirts here: What if everyone sat on their ass the way most Obamist do? Who would then pay the bill ? Castro ? I think not. CNN and its cadre of brownshirts had better awaken before they drown in their own feces.

    May 2, 2009 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  16. Len

    Another Republican who can only critize and does not offer any alternatives....The party of NO has NO ideas.

    May 2, 2009 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  17. tony

    Farthers, with Children Are Just As Concern!
    President Obama Has Two.

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

    NO ideas, just eggs, The Party of NO!

    May 2, 2009 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  18. Allen in Hartwell GA

    If Rep. Jenkins thinks the Obama administration is spending money she was probably totally devastated by what the Bush administration did, with approval of a Republican Congress from January 2001 until January 2007, and with nothing to show for it except "he kept us safe".
    Give me a break!!!

    May 2, 2009 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  19. jl

    BOO! If the Republicans think they can send this scary looking nobody out with the same washed up message, well, THINK AGAIN!

    May 2, 2009 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  20. Q

    Congratulations Lynn,

    You've just become the newest member of the Joke squad.
    Ask yourself a few questions
    1. Why did we have to spend all this money?
    2. Did this administration create this economy?
    3. Would you rather we stand by and do nothing?
    4. Name one single Government spending program Federal, State or Local that operated issue free, from either party.
    5. What would you do if you were in charge? Remember you don't want to spend any money before you answer.

    Those who criticize typically have nothing else to do but criticize.

    Just curious

    May 2, 2009 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  21. tony

    And "Your" Solutions are What?

    Lots Of People Know a thing or two about handling taxpayer dollars

    Very Large Banks and other INC. Know A thing or two about Taxes also.

    Tax Cuts For The Rich, That Didn't Work, How About Some Ideas,
    mother of two.

    Google The Bush Years Tax Cuts

    May 2, 2009 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  22. Jaybee

    Same old talking points from the party of no. I would really like to see some REAL solutions from the Republicans, not just hear the same worn out answers...no,no,no.

    May 2, 2009 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  23. Earl

    Well Lynn. If you had been willing not to sell the farm when your hero GW and Dick Cheney were writing checks they could not cover, starting a nation building outside of the US, regulating the banking industry, regulating aka Enron (Ken Lay = Dick Cheney), you just might have a voice or an opinion that has any merit greater than the rest of these idiots. But being that you are new to DC and this is a close to a Black Man you have been to, since maybe a sporting event, I will give you the credit of just being ignorant. So when you worrying and stand your ground about spending or cutting taxes, or sending people to die in a war that is more about nation building than principles your opinion may have some value. But right now, right now. Americans who have sacrificed everything, everything for your right to sit where you sit now need some big time help and support right now. Not your redressed rhetoric.

    May 2, 2009 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  24. J. L. W.

    Lynn Jenkins observation is very discouraging but correct. The Democrats in the House and Senate are moving in a direction that will
    push the country over the cliff. Obama is likable, communicates well and
    is intelligent but is also going in the wrong direction.

    May 2, 2009 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  25. Bev

    People have no basis to blame George Bush....the coming economic disaster that is going to come will be a DIRECT RESULT of Obama and his unchecked spending spree. He has more than DOUBLED the deficit since George Bush was in office and Bush dealt with two wars and a natural disaster with very little detriment to the economy. The recession we suffered was small and is being made worse by the spending spree that is going on right now. If we had taken our lumps and let gthe market straighten itself out without government interference it would be far less worse. Now, Obama has exploited the small recession (just like he did the AIG bonuses...just like he did the "Swine flu") to get OUR MONEY and gain control of 40 percent of the economy. People...the Democrats now control the auto industry, banking institutions, they are bullying their way into the health care industry (which will be the biggest mistake of all)...and since when has the government run anything effectively?? NEVER. This is Obama's responsibility. Not George Bush.

    May 2, 2009 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
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