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Mr. ANDREWS. Mr. Speaker, when Congress doesn't want to do something, it forms a committee. We tried, and that doesn't appear to be working. Then when it doesn't want to do something, it kicks the can down the road and sets up a process where somebody else does the hard thing. That's what we're doing here tonight.
If you want to balance the budget, then vote to tell the Federal-operating Departments to do with 5 or 10 percent less money than they got last year. I'm prepared to do that.
If you want to balance the budget, then save money in the Medicare program by saying Medicare can negotiate prices of prescription drugs the way the VA does, and save billions of dollars on prescription costs. I'm prepared to do that.
If you want to balance the budget, bring the troops home from Afghanistan sooner. Since we have the ability to blow up the world 24 times, let's not pay for weapons that blow it up a 25th time. Let's not have 90,000 troops in Europe and Korea who are defending against an enemy that largely doesn't exist anymore.
If you want to balance the budget, then vote to tell the hedge fund managers and all of these other people who are making all this money that maybe they should just pay a little bit more in taxes into the Federal Treasury.
All the heartfelt, pious speeches tonight won't save $1, but the things I just talked about would. They're difficult; they're controversial; but they're real. So let's not fool the American public that some process that somebody else someday might follow will balance the budget. If you want to balance the budget, vote to cut spending. You may have ways that I didn't outline. I'd like to hear them. If you want to balance the budget, then vote for some people who can afford to pay more.
Do something real.
That will create the balanced budget, the confidence, and the jobs the American people need--not just another empty, hollow, meaningless political debate. The right action is to balance the budget, and the right vote on this bill is ``no.''
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