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Public Statements

Sequester Replacement Reconciliation Act of 2012

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. ENGEL. I thank the gentleman from Maryland and I rise in opposition to this bill.

It should come as no surprise the Republicans in Congress do not take the budget deficit seriously. When they were in total control during 6 of the 8 Bush years, they did nothing to reduce the deficit. Quite the opposite.

Republicans say they're all for cutting spending, just not the spending they like. So here we have an attempt to replace sequestration so that they can continue to destroy the social safety net while protecting defense spending, Big Oil, and the wealthiest in this country, yet again asking the middle and lower classes to bear the cost of cutting the budget.

I said when they agreed to the sequester that they'd try to back out of the deal to protect their pet policies and gut the social safety net. And that's what we see in this document: cutting food stamps, cutting SNAP, hurting senior citizens, repealing evidence of health care reforms, hurting Federal workers.

I voted against the Budget Control Act because it was an unbalanced budget that put the responsibility of balancing the budget on the backs of the middle class. But at least it was an agreement that put both defense and discretionary spending up for equal cuts. It was an agreement that both parties came to, recognizing the need to cut Federal spending. Now the Republicans are trying to back out of that. And in backing out of that, they are protecting the wealthiest among us, hurting the middle class. This is the wrong way to go. It is a shameful document.

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