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Public Statements

The Debt Ceiling

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington DC

The SPEAKER pro tempore. The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Georgia (Mr. Woodall) for 5 minutes.

Mr. WOODALL. Mr. Speaker, I came to the House floor today to talk about the big deal. Every time I open up a newspaper, Mr. Speaker, this week it's been talking about the big deal, the big deal that's going on at the White House.

I want to set the record straight here today. The big deal happened right here on the floor of this House, when the only budget that's passed in all of Washington, D.C., all year long, cutting $6 trillion in spending, was passed by this body, Mr. Speaker. That's the big deal--$6 trillion agreed upon by this United States House of Representatives. Now, I know down at the White House they are talking about the big deal is 3 trillion in spending cuts, 6 trillion, Mr. Speaker. The big deal started right here now.

You know, Mr. Speaker, I am a big fan of the open process that we have had in this House where every single Member of the United States House of Representatives come here and have their voices heard, offer their ideas, offer their opinions, and that happened in our voting process, Mr. Speaker.

I have a vote tally here from that week of voting on the budget. The Congressional Black Caucus budget came to the floor of this House, was debated, considered. It received 103 affirmative votes, 103. The Republican Study Committee budget came, debated in this House, 119 affirmative budgets. The Progressive Caucus budget came, 77 affirmative votes. Congressman Van Hollen brought a Democratic alternative, 166 affirmative votes.

The only budget to get 218 votes, Mr. Speaker, was the House Budget Committee budget with 235 ``yes'' votes, 235. Now, that's a budget that was laid out line item by line item by line item, so absolutely everyone in America could see what it was that we were doing to achieve these savings to change the direction of our borrowing and our spending.

Now, no one even introduced the President's budget in this body, Mr. Speaker. No one offered it. Now the Senate brought the President's budget to a vote, and it was defeated 0-97. The United States Senate, Mr. Speaker, defeated the President's budget 0-97.

Now, they brought the House-passed budget up over there. They couldn't pass that either. It received 40 affirmative votes, but they still couldn't pass the budget. As my colleague said earlier, it's been over 800 days since the Senate has passed a budget.

Now, I know the President has come back out and he has talked about some alternatives, some things he would do differently from the budget that he offered in February, differently from that budget that got zero votes in the Senate. And in a Budget Committee hearing the other day, we asked the Congressional Budget Office Director what's the score on the President's new plan. And the office told us, Mr. Speaker, that they can't score a speech. I think that's true.

There is a lot of talk in this town, but there is a not a lot of line item by line item by line item putting your name, your money, and your vote by where your priorities are. But this House did it, Mr. Speaker. We are the only body in town to do it. It's the only budget in town to pass and it's the big deal, $6 trillion over 10 years to help try to get this country back on track.

I want to say, Mr. Speaker, it did it by not cutting one penny from the benefits that seniors are receiving today, not one, so that seniors, even those over 55, Mr. Speaker, would continue to receive the same Medicare program that seniors are receiving today; so those over 55 would receive the same Social Security benefits as those folks who are receiving those benefits today. I cannot believe, when I open up the front page of the newspaper, I hear folks talking about Social Security benefits might not go out the door, veterans benefits might not go out the door.

Mr. Speaker, we have a plan that this body passed that gets those checks out the door. It is responsible in that it cut $6 trillion in spending. It is responsible in that it bends the budget curve going forward over the next 10 years and it gets those checks out the door.

Mr. Speaker, I don't know what's going to happen over the next 3 weeks. I don't know where this town is going to go. This town is a tough town to predict. But I know that this House has put its mark in the sand. This House has brought every single Budget Committee alternative that was offered to this floor. We voted on each and every one, and the only one to pass this House was the big deal, $6 trillion, and it gets our seniors and our troops paid on August 3.

Mr. Speaker, I encourage my colleagues to rally around that and let's give the American people what they deserve, and that's some certainty in the budget process.


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