March 31, 2011

Washington, DC—U.S. Congressman Mike Pence delivered the following speech today at a Tea Party rally at the U.S. Capitol:

“I’m Mike Pence. I’m from Indiana.

“To the Tea Party Patriots, Americans all, welcome back to your nation’s capitol.

“With a deficit this year of $1.65 trillion and a national debt of $14 trillion, and a defiant liberal majority in the Senate, it’s time to pick a fight.

“In 2010, the American people sent a deafening message to both political parties in Washington, DC. They said, ‘it’s time to end the borrowing, and the spending, and the bailouts and it’s time to end the Congress of Nancy Pelosi once and for all.’ And you did it.

“And House Republicans have gone to work since being awarded the Majority again. We cut our budgets. We repealed ObamaCare lock, stock and barrel on the floor of the House of Representatives, and we voted to cut spending to pre-stimulus, pre -bailout levels, defunding ObamaCare and ending all public funding for Planned Parenthood of America.

“But House Republicans have run headlong into Harry Reid. Harry Reid actually took to the floor of the Senate and said that our modest down payment on fiscal discipline was ‘reckless, irresponsible, mean-spirited.’

“He even defended federal funding for the Cowboy Poetry Institute in Nevada.

“The truth is they just don’t get it.
“They don’t understand that the party’s over for liberals in Washington, DC. The American people are demanding that we change the fiscal direction of our national government. But I learned a long time ago that things don’t change here in Washington, DC until they have to.

“We’ve got to say to Harry Reid and liberals in the Senate, ‘This far and no farther.’ We’ve got to borrow a line from another Harry and say, ‘The debt stops here.’

“And if liberals in the Senate would rather play political games and shut down the government instead of making a small down payment on fiscal discipline and reform, I say, ‘Shut it down.’

“Nobody wants a government shutdown but if we don’t take a stand, we’re going to shut down the future for our children and grandchildren.

“And make no mistake about it, this is a defining moment for the new majority in Congress.

“Not that $61 billion in cuts is anything to write home about. It’s actually just a down payment. Maybe it’s just earnest money on restoring fiscal discipline. But it’s a start. And it’s a first step. And it’ll be a first win for taxpayers that could set the stage for larger victories on battling against the debt ceiling increase without fundamental reform, battling for a budget and a long-term vision for fiscal discipline and setting our nation back on the pathway toward constitutional limited government.

“You know, sometimes even small steps, boldly taken, can change history, like they did on Christmas night 1776. A harsh winter storm had settled in the Delaware River Valley. Public support for the war was waning and his troops were wearied and demoralized. A general conceived a bold and daring plan. He would pick a fight, in the dead of night. Take it directly to the enemy. They boarded the boats, they crossed the great river and they won the day.

“By historical standards, Washington’s crossing was a small event. On that night 2,400 Americans fought 1,500 Hessians in a battle that only lasted a couple hours. By contrast, at Antietam 115,000 men fought a terrible battle that continued for a day. The Battle of the Bulge, involved more than a million men and went on for more than a month.

“But while the victory in Trenton was not a great battle it was a battle of great consequence. History records that it was a defining moment in our still young nation. That small victory wrought by the Continental Army, showed that victory was within our reach, that Americans were still willing to fight. It rekindled the fire of independence that set the stage for larger victories that followed.

“Today our struggle is not against an implacable enemy, and we will not here compare military contests with political debates. But the principle is the same.

“By picking a fight and winning this one small step toward fiscal discipline in Washington, DC, the American people will see that victory over deficits and debt is within our reach, that we can fight and we can win and we can restore limited government at the national level.

“And so we must fight.

“Republicans must show that we’re worthy of this moment. Equal to the crisis, willing to stop, turn and squarely face the mountain range of debt that threatens our children’s future, and squarely face all of those who defend the status quo.

“If Harry Reid wants a fight, let’s give it to him.

“Democrats in the Senate may think they have the advantage, but let me assure you, it only seems that way. A minority in the Senate plus the American people equals a majority.

“Know this, men and women, whenever you take a stand for freedom, for future generations, for traditional values, you do not fight alone. He who stilled the waters, He who cleared the ice flows on the Delaware will make a way for America, for He is not done with America yet. Let’s go pick a fight.”


Congressman Mike Pence •<>
100 Cannon HOB • (202) 226-4379


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