Ms. CLARKE of New York. Mr. Speaker, here we go again. For the third time this calendar year, we are facing the real likelihood of a government shutdown. And why? Because, Mr. Speaker, of all things, Republican opposition to a tax cut proposal. The Republican majority, which has spent the last 49 weeks of the American people's time protecting tax cuts for millionaires, multimillionaires, and billionaires, does not want to extend the same courtesy to the struggling middle class.
It's a shame, Mr. Speaker, that the people's House cannot agree to pass commonsense legislation that benefits the majority of the American people without including poison pills that ensure the air we breathe is clean, our water is safe to drink, and our seniors have access to quality health care.
Unfortunately, this should not come as a surprise to the American people who have watched the Republican-led 112th Congress unleash an all-out assault on our middle class and aspiring middle class and the most vulnerable amongst us.
Mr. Speaker, during these tough times, we cannot afford to pass partisan legislation that toys with and diminishes the livelihoods of the American people, that harms our economic recovery efforts, and removes environmental safeguards. We must put politics aside, pass commonsense legislation that helps the American people, and not use them as political bargaining chips.
I would like to take this opportunity to welcome home America's servicewomen and -men and thank you for your service to our Nation.