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Public Statements

Providing for Consideration of H.J. Res. 48, Additional Continuing Appropriations Amendments, 2011

Floor Speech

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Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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(Mr. ANDREWS asked and was given permission to revise and extend his remarks.)

Mr. ANDREWS. Mr. Speaker, there are 15 million unemployed Americans as we meet this afternoon, and this is the 11th consecutive week that the majority has not brought to the floor a bill for us to work together to create an environment where small businesses and entrepreneurs could create jobs for our country.

Now, I do agree with the proposition that one of the ways that we could have jobs created by small businesses and entrepreneurs is to improve the country's fiscal standing and give us low long-term interest rates in the long run; and reducing our deficit is a key part of doing that. So I think the issue is not if we reduce spending; it's how we reduce spending.

And I do think we should stop sending money to the Brazilian Cotton Institute. I think we shouldn't spend $1.5 billion for the Police Department in Baghdad when American cities are laying police officers off around our country.

And I certainly don't think we should be giving $40 billion in subsidies to the oil companies that made $77 billion in profit last year and are raising gasoline to four or five bucks at the pump. I think those are areas we ought to agree on and get this budget done.

But 11 consecutive weeks without a bill that helps small businesses and entrepreneurs create jobs is 11 weeks too many.

I do, however, Mr. Speaker want to compliment the majority on a good decision I think they've made in this bill. There's an argument in this country about whether to repeal the health care bill or not. We think that would be a surrender to the insurance industry and hurt the American people, and we're against that repeal.

And there's an argument in this country about whether Planned Parenthood should continue to get funding for women's health services. Most of us think it should, and many on the other side think it should not.

These are legitimate debates. They are not debates that should result in a shutdown of the Federal Government, however. The right thing to do is to agree on the budget and then agree to disagree on repealing the health care bill and funding for Planned Parenthood later down the road.

And I would commend the chairman of the Appropriations Committee and the chairman of the Rules Committee for putting on the floor this afternoon an extension that does not defund the health care bill, that leaves it in place, and an extension that does not defund Planned Parenthood, that leaves the funding for that in place.

I think that's the result that we should have in the long run. I think the budget that we adopt between now and September 30 should continue to fund the health care bill, as this bill does, and should continue to fund Planned Parenthood, as this bill does.

But I commend the majority for its decision to leave those issues out of this bill so that these issues are not wrapped up in this.

The SPEAKER pro tempore. The time of the gentleman has expired.

Mr. McGOVERN. I yield the gentleman an additional minute.

Mr. ANDREWS. I thank the gentleman.

Look, there is a significant national debate about whether insurance companies should be able to deny someone health coverage because they have leukemia or diabetes. We think they shouldn't be able to do that because of preexisting conditions. Others disagree with us.

We think that if a young woman needs counseling and services on her gynecological health, that there should be a Planned Parenthood clinic available to her. Others disagree with that, and we respect that debate.

But to tie up the operation of the Marine Corps and the FBI and the other aspects of this government over those social policy disputes is a big mistake. It's a mistake the majority has avoided in this resolution that's before us today, and I think that's a wise choice. I hope that the majority continues to avoid that choice.

Let's agree on a budget that creates the conditions to help small businesses and entrepreneurs put America back to work, and let's leave the political debates out.

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