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Public Statements

Sequester Replacement Reconciliation Act of 2012

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. GENE GREEN of Texas. Mr. Speaker, I ride in strong opposition to the draconian cuts to health care, food stamps, and other essential programs that are being proposed by the House majority in H.R. 5652.

Last summer, this Congress and the Administration agreed on a path to reduce the national deficit by over $2.1 trillion. Over half of this amount was going to come either through a bipartisan agreement by the so-called ``Super Committee'' or through sequestration.

I do not like sequestration. It is an inefficient way to make spending decisions that affect millions of Americans. However, this is what was agreed to and for the House majority to go back on that agreement and not have an open and frank debate on how this chamber can agree to reduce our national deficit while preserving essential programs and services is more than just disappointing. For millions of our fellow Americans, it is a matter of survival.

This legislation would result in cutting food stamps by over $33 billion dollars. Nearly 50 cents of every dollar into food stamps helps children get the food they need to grow and thrive.

H.R. 5652 would gut vital health care services, including ending the Prevention and Public Health Trust Fund, which is essential for finding better ways to promote wellness, prevent disease, and protect against public health emergencies.

This bill would also reduce matching state funds to Medicaid, as well as make it more difficult to qualify for the program and make devastating cuts to the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP).

It would make sharp cuts to the Social Services Block Grant program, which could result in 1.7 million children losing access to protective services, 450,000 children being denied foster care, and 640,000 children losing child abuse prevention services.

This legislation would also eliminate the FDIC's ability to unwind financial institutions that are ``too big to fail'' in an orderly way, eliminate the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's (CFPB) funding source, and cut pension contributions to federal workers.

I stand with our nation's servicemembers and am committed to making sure that they have the tools and resources necessary to protect America from any and all threats.

However, support for our nation's heroes should not and cannot come at a cost to America's most vulnerable. We can find a better way to balance our priorities, protect those in need, and honor our servicemen and women.

I call on Members on both sides of the aisle to join me in finding a better way to reduce our deficit while protecting children, the needy, and America's men and women in uniform and vote against this legislation.

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