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Mr. ANDREWS. Mr. Speaker, we hear that there is agreement over some basic principles here. Just about everyone thinks we should extend the middle class tax cut for the rest of this year. Just about everyone thinks we should make sure that doctors don't see a nearly 30 percent cut in the payments that they receive to take care of our seniors and disabled persons under Medicare. Most of us think that unemployment benefits should be extended at a time when there are four people unemployed for every one job opening in the country.
Most people believe that most if not all of this should be paid for; that is to say that we shouldn't borrow the money to do these things. The amount of money that's needed to do that is about $3 out of every $1,000 that we're going to spend here. It's significant money, but it's about $3 out of every $1,000 that we spend.
So here's the idea behind this motion. Since there is such broad agreement that this middle class tax cut and the other provisions need to happen, since there is such broad agreement that it ought to be offset in part, if not fully, and since it's such a relatively small amount of money, $3 for every $1,000 we're going to spend, let's not wait until the very last minute to do it.
The history of 2011 is littered with the majority waiting until the eleventh hour. And it was more than just an inconvenience for the legislative process. In August when the markets melted down, it turned out to be a crisis for the country and the global economy. Let's not take that chance again.
So if everybody is so much in agreement, vote for this motion. What it says is let's not wait until February 29. They gave us a leap year this year, so let's not stretch it. Let's not wait until February 29 at midnight. Let's get this done no later than February 17 to get this done in an orderly fashion.
The American people are tired of a Congress that has the study habits of a student who parties all semester and crams for the finals. Let's get serious, let's grow up, and let's vote for this motion.
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