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Public Statements

Repealing Mandatory Funding for Graduate Medical Education

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. ANDREWS. Will the gentleman yield?

Mr. McHENRY. I yield to the gentleman from New Jersey.

Madam Chair, I would ask my colleague, where is his plan on entitlement reform?

Mr. ANDREWS. Does the gentleman favor permitting Medicare to negotiate the price of prescription drugs, the way the VA does, and save $25 billion a year?

Mr. McHENRY. In reclaiming my time, I would ask, does the gentleman favor the Medicare part D prescription drug benefit, which has a lower cost basis than what your colleagues proposed at the time of enactment?

Mr. ANDREWS. Will the gentleman yield?

Mr. McHENRY. I'm going to finish up here, my friend.

Madam Chair, in this discussion, there are lots of questions but little substantive action--no policy proposals--to make sure that Medicare is there for the next generation, much less for the end of the Greatest Generation.

I would ask my colleagues to come forward with a substantive plan, not just to take up time here on the U.S. House floor, not to take away time from these important amendments that we have under this open rule here on the House floor. I would ask my colleagues to do something real and substantive rather than to push us to a debt crisis, which their policies and their spending are pushing us towards.

I yield back the balance of my time.

Mr. ANDREWS. Madam Chair, I move to strike the last word.

The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman from New Jersey is recognized for 5 minutes.

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

Mr. ANDREWS. My friend who just spoke asked us where the plan is to reduce the debt and deficit. If he is here, I would be happy to yield to him, but I would ask him to consider these ideas.

One, Medicare pays more than twice as much for a Coumadin pill than the Veterans Administration does because we have a law that the majority supported that says that Medicare can't negotiate prescription drug prices. I favor repealing that law and saving at least $25 billion a year. I would ask my friend if he supports that, and I would yield if he would like to answer.

Mr. McHENRY. Will the gentleman yield?

Mr. ANDREWS. Does the gentleman support that idea?

I yield to the gentleman from North Carolina.

Mr. McHENRY. Why didn't the gentleman do it when he was in the majority? And I would be happy to yield back the balance of my time. Why is this not in ObamaCare? It's just everything else.

Mr. ANDREWS. Reclaiming my time, we did not do so because we couldn't get two Republican Senators to support it on the other side. We would have done it over here.

Second thing; does the gentleman support stopping the spending of $110 billion a year to occupy Iraq and Afghanistan and instead spend that money here in the United States? Does the gentleman support that? I would ask him if he would like to answer that question.

Mr. McHENRY. I'm sorry, I didn't hear the question.

Mr. ANDREWS. I'll repeat it. We are spending about $110 billion a year to help finance the Government of Iraq and Afghanistan. I would rather see that $110 billion a year reduce our deficit. Would the gentleman support that?

Mr. McHENRY. Does the gentleman support the President's war on Libya?

Mr. ANDREWS. I, frankly, do not. But reclaiming my time, I especially don't support paying the bills for Baghdad and Kabul that we could be using to reduce our deficit here at home.

Third, we're going to spend at least $60 billion over the next 10 years to give tax breaks to oil companies that made record profits--$44 billion last year alone--as our constituents are paying over $4 a gallon at the pump. I support repealing those giveaways to the oil industry and putting that money toward the deficit. I don't see the gentleman anymore, I'm not sure how he stands on it, but we support that.

Four, I support the idea that people who make more than $1 million a year might be asked to contribute just a little more in taxes to help reduce this deficit. Now I know the other side is going to say, well, this will hurt the job creators in America. There is an echo in this Chamber. In 1993, President Clinton proposed a modest increase on the highest earning Americans to help reduce the deficit. The former Speaker at the time, or Mr. Gingrich--he wasn't the Speaker at the time, he became the Speaker--said this would cause the worst recession in American history. He was wrong. The gentleman who became the majority leader, Mr. Armey, said that this was a recipe for economic collapse. He was wrong.

When we followed the supply-side trickle down the last 8 years under George W. Bush, the economy created 1 million net new jobs. But when we asked the wealthiest Americans to pay just a little more to reduce the deficit in the 1990s, the economy created 23 million new jobs.

So when they ask, where is the plan, here is the plan: Don't abolish Medicare the way they plan to; negotiate prescription drug prices; stop paying the bills for Iraq and Afghanistan; stop the giveaways to oil companies that make record profits; and ask the wealthiest in this country to pay just a bit more to reduce our deficit. Let's put that plan on the floor and reduce the deficit that way.

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