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Ms. WASSERMAN SCHULTZ. I would point out to my good friend from Texas, Madam Speaker, as a constitutional conservative, he should recognize that the Constitution, itself, was a series of compromises.
Our Nation and economy is being pushed closer and closer to default. Hardliners on the right--extremists by any other name--have refused to compromise. We are putting in jeopardy the payment of the Social Security obligations and paying the members of our military. The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff yesterday couldn't even answer in the affirmative that he was confident that those payments could be made if we default. We're putting in jeopardy the full faith and credit of our Nation.
Yesterday, seniors in my district called my office in tears, wondering whether we would default and what those consequences would mean for them. These are real people who live on Social Security to survive.
We have many strongly held views on both sides of the aisle. I don't like everything in the Reid proposal before us, but compromise is critical. I recognize that I can't have everything 100 percent my way. Democrats have been at the compromise table for months with an empty chair on the other side of the table. It is time for Republicans to warm that seat across from us.
Mr. Dreier claims that Republicans have brought the Reid proposal to the floor to show that it doesn't represent
a bill that can pass the House, yet the process is a sham. The bill has been brought up under a rule that requires a two-thirds vote of this House for passage, which they know cannot happen.
What are Republicans afraid of? They're afraid that a fair process might show just how much support there is for this proposal.
Where are the cooler heads in the Republican Caucus? Where are they? They appear not to exist. Your caucus seems to be held hostage by extremists and have driven the moderates from the room and from the discussion. Allowing extremists to take over is doing harm to our country.
The SPEAKER pro tempore. The time of the gentlewoman has expired.
Mr. McGOVERN. I yield the gentlewoman an additional 15 seconds.
Ms. WASSERMAN SCHULTZ. Thank you.
President Obama and House and Senate Democrats have said we are willing to support cuts even to programs we would normally fight to preserve. Republicans in response have doubled down in a Groundhog Day move that has pushed dead-on-arrival proposals that jeopardize our economy by bringing us closer to the brink of chaos.
At the end of the day, the stewardship of our economy is our responsibility.
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