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Mr. PALLONE. I listened to what the gentlewoman on the other side said, and I was really amazed because she was harking back to when we had a Democratic President, Bill Clinton, and a Republican Congress and how we worked together to accomplish certain goals. Well, that is exactly what is missing now. If you listen to what my colleague from Massachusetts said, he said once again the President is calling the Speaker, the Republican Speaker, and the Democratic majority leader in the Senate back to the White House to try to work something out. That's what is happening here. But it is the House Republicans and their leadership that refuse any kind of negotiation. They keep saying: Oh, yeah, they're going to work it out. But they don't. And they keep insisting on this draconian H.R. 1, this continuing resolution that really hurts Americans and kills jobs.
Mr. DREIER. Will the gentleman yield?
Mr. PALLONE. No, I will not yield at this time.
So I say to the gentlewoman, yes, let's go back to those times. Let's have the Republicans here in the House work together with the President and with Senator Reid on the other side.
Now, you said before that this CR that is up now would prevent a government shutdown. Just the opposite is true. It is a step backward. It is going to lead directly toward a government shutdown because Republican leadership knows that this bill will not pass the Senate. It doesn't have any cuts in defense. It actually says we will keep the level of funding for defense until the end of the year. Well, aren't defense cuts on the table? And it continues with this ideological battle. There is actually abortion language in this CR, is my understanding. And the gentlewoman actually said: Well, that is an issue here that we need to resolve, that we should deal with. Well, no, that is not the case because if you continue on this path, no defense cuts, bring up abortion, this bill will certainly not pass the Senate, the President will not sign it, and so we are just simply wasting our time.
What is happening here is the Republicans are ignoring the fact that there are Democrats in the majority in the Senate and there is a Democratic President. You can't have it my way or the highway, and that's what we have been hearing for the last 3 months: my way or the highway.
Now, I just want to mention another thing. I was glad that the gentlewoman brought up the budget, which is to follow, because we know that this bad CR, or spending bill, that we are dealing with now, is a precursor to an even worse budget bill that the Republicans have proposed.
And I want to tell you, you talked about a previous error. The problem with the Republican budget, there are so many, but the biggest problem is it is going to put an end to Medicare. I was here when Speaker Gingrich became Speaker, and he said he wanted Medicare to wither on the vine. And that is what the Republican budget will do. It will end Medicare as we know it because there will be no guarantee. Seniors will go back to the old days when they had to try to find their own private health insurance, and maybe the government will give them some help with it. But for the most part, they won't be able to find health insurance.
So there won't be Medicare; they won't be able to get health insurance. And what are they going to do? They're going to be out on the street; they're going to end up in the emergency room again, which is what happened with the elderly before we passed Medicare.
The gentlewoman went on to say that she's going to reform Medicaid. Well, she's reforming Medicaid by basically giving a block grant to the States. And what does that mean? The States won't have enough money to pay for seniors' nursing home care. So nursing homes will close or they won't provide quality services. We'll see seniors getting bedsores again, if they can even find a nursing home. So essentially we're also going to end Medicaid. Sixty-five percent of Medicaid goes towards seniors and the disabled.
You look at this Republican budget, and this is just a precursor to what we're going to see next week: It will end Medicare as we know it by eliminating its guaranteed coverage. It slashes Medicaid for seniors in nursing homes, health care for children, and Americans with disabilities. It increases the cost of a college education for close to 10 million middle class students. It gives away billions in subsidies and tax breaks to Big Oil.
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