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Providing for Consideration of H. RES. 515, Addressing a Motion to Proceed Under Section 3101A of Title 31, United States Code

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. ANDREWS. I thank my friend for yielding.

Mr. Speaker and colleagues, as the Congress meets for the first time in 2012, the people of the country are burdened by a deficit of jobs, a deficit in our Federal budget, and a deficit of hope that things could get better.

It is our responsibility to work together to try to make them better. Now, to reduce the deficit of the country, yes, you should restrain spending. The parties came together in August and passed--with about half of each party voting for it--a deficit-reduction plan that cut spending in our departments by about 5 percent each, made reasonable reductions in defense spending and some reasonable reductions in social problems. We should keep those reductions on the books.

We think that in reducing the deficit, that the very wealthiest and most successful in American society should have to pay a little bit more of their fair share. Not everyone agrees with that, but we think that is an important part of reducing the deficit. But by far the best way to reduce the deficit is to create jobs for the people of this country. You have a hard time creating jobs when there is a deficit, but you have an impossible time of reducing the deficit when there are no jobs.

132 days ago, the President of the United States came to this Chamber and put forward four good ideas to create jobs in this country. First, he said that we should cut taxes for middle class and working Americans. Well, we managed to eke out a 2-month agreement to do that. Let's get to work today in extending that middle class tax cut for at least the rest of the year.

The President then said that we should put people back to work, building science labs in our schools and fixing bridges and roads that need to be repaired. The Congress hasn't acted on that proposal at all in this House.

The President said that we should cut taxes for small business people who hire people, who create jobs. This House has not acted at all on that proposal since September 8. The President took due note that as private sector jobs have risen, police officers and teachers and firefighters have lost their jobs in the public sector. And he said to help our States and cities keep police officers on the beat, keep firefighters in the apparatus, keep teachers in the classroom, let's give some aid to those States and cities to keep those people working. The House has not acted at all on that proposal.

Ladies and gentlemen of the House and Mr. Speaker, rather than going through an exercise here where people can pontificate about how much they deeply care about the deficit, let's do something about it. Let's put on the floor of this House each of the President's proposals to create jobs and let's take a vote.

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Mr. ANDREWS. And to those who say they have better ideas, let's put their ideas on the floor. The American people did not take the month of January off; neither should we. Let's put these job-creating proposals on the floor, put them to a vote and do our job to help put the American people back to work.

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