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Mr. McCLINTOCK. I thank the gentleman for yielding. I thank him for his vision and courage. It has truly been an honor to serve on the committee under his leadership.
Mr. Chairman, a year ago, the House passed a budget that would have put our Nation back on the path to fiscal solvency and ultimately paid off the entire national debt. It would have saved Medicare and Medicaid from collapse and put them back on a solid and secure foundation. According to Standard & Poor's, it would have preserved the AAA credit rating of the United States Government. That plan was killed in the Senate, which has not passed a budget in 3 years.
The Senate majority leader complained that it threatened the Cowboy Poetry Festival in Elko, Nevada. An allied group ran a smear campaign depicting Congressman Ryan as a monster willing to throw his grandmother off a cliff. Sadly, that's what passes for reasoned discourse from today's left.
The result is that today our country is another year older and more than $1 trillion deeper in debt. We've lost our AAA credit rating. We've watched our Nation's debt exceed our entire economy, putting us in the same league as the worst-run European governments.
Mr. Chairman, this is not a perfect budget, no budget ever is, but it will save our country from the calamity that is now destroying Greece. That should be reason enough for adopting it with a resounding and, dare I hope, bipartisan vote.
A year ago, a panel of experts from left to right warned us that we were, at best, 5 years from a sovereign debt crisis. I wonder how many more years we've got. How many more chances will we have to set things right before events overtake us and we enter the inexorable downward spiral of bankrupt nations?
Let's not find out the answer to that question. Let us act now to redeem our Nation's finances and restore our Nation's freedom while there is still time. That is our generation's responsibility. That is our generation's destiny.
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