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Public Statements

Providing For Consideration of H. CON. RES. 34, Concurrent Resolution on The Budget For Fiscal Year 2012

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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I thank the gentleman for yielding.

Mr. Speaker, we are facing a crisis in the country today. Imagine back home in your family budget if for every dollar you spent, 40 cents was borrowed. Surely you would bring your entire family to the kitchen table and say, okay, what can we cut out? We cannot continue to borrow 40 cents for every dollar we spend. You would make changes in your household budget. But for some reason, many in Washington, D.C. want to stick their head in the sand and say, no, we really don't have to do this. And yet right now the national debt is 90 percent of the GDP.

We borrow billions of dollars a year from China, which is not exactly a great idea in terms of national security. I sit on the Defense Subcommittee of Appropriations. We watch China year in, year out building up their army, and yet we go to them over and over again for more money. And yet, while we do that, those in Washington, D.C., don't want to do anything.

We heard yesterday the President's mulligan budget. As you know, Mr. Speaker, the President of the United States is responsible to submit his budget to Congress each year, which the President did in February, totally ignoring his own deficit commission's recommendations. The Simpson-Bowles language was not in there. And yet, yesterday, the President decided, oh, well, give me one more chance, I'm going to introduce another budget, which has a lot of phony numbers in there and a lot of false promises and calls for more studies and commissions. I ask my Democrat friends, is that budget going to be on the floor today? Are we going to be able to offer it?

I yield to my friend from Maryland.

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You will be offering the budget the President talked about yesterday? I'm going to yield back to my friend from Maryland, but I want to say this: Unlike when you guys were in charge, we are offering the Democrats opportunities to offer budgets. We think it's very important, because we want the best of your ideas, and we think the best of our ideas can be combined together for the best of America.

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I am going to yield to my friend, but here's what I want to say, that we keep hearing over and over again in the last 24 hours about the President's wonderful mulligan budget that he offered yesterday, but I don't believe it's going to be offered on the floor of the House.

Now let me yield to my friend.

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Let me ask specifically, the mulligan budget that the President offered yesterday, will it be on the floor of the House today?

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Let me thank my friend from Maryland for answering this, because I do think it's important for the Democrats to be given an opportunity to offer an alternative budget, and I'm glad that you will be, and there will be five such budgets. And I'm hoping even if your budgets don't pass, that we can still pick and choose some parts of those, and there will be some parts of our budget that you like and want to support as well.

But I want to emphasize over and over again that the President, who yesterday tried to reclaim some territory because he did not take on the recommendations of his own deficit reduction commission, he was not offering a budget yesterday. What he did was give a speech. Now, the President is kind of becoming the Spectator in Chief or the Speaker in Chief. He's the guy who offers a budget, and then yesterday decides to give a speech. Well, the time has come and gone for speeches.

What our budget does is take on some serious changes in our spending habit. It does tackle the difficult choices that we have on Medicaid and Medicare. It does not create a voucher system; it is a supplemental system which will give seniors more choices. And it doesn't affect anybody 55 years or older, which is very important.

But we will hear from the liberals in this community the cage rattling of senior citizens over and over again, and that's why we can't make progress in this town, because we always reduce policy to politics.

The time to put policy first is now. We've got to tone down our rhetoric and say, you know what, here is a plan to save and protect and preserve Medicaid and Medicare, not for the next election, not for politicians, but for America's future seniors. The baby boomers who are under 55 years old will have a Medicare/Medicaid plan that they can count on because it will be there. If we don't change, it will not be there for them.

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