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Mr. NADLER. Madam Speaker, addressing our debt is a critical long-term goal, but it's not our immediate problem. Right now, our immediate problem is high unemployment, and our economy needs efforts to spur job growth. The expiration of the Bush-era tax cuts, particularly those targeted toward the middle class, and the start of unparalleled across-the-board $1.2 trillion spending cuts mandated by the Budget Control Act sequestration provision, threatened further job growth.
Looking just at sequestration, there is rare agreement. Not the President, not the Congress, not anyone ever wanted or expected the sequestration measures to take effect. Why? Because we have a jobs problem, and the spending cuts demanded by sequestration are a huge jobs killer.
Republicans argue that this steep cut would risk defense-related jobs, and they're right. According to the Economic Policy Institute, these cuts would kill 1.3 million defense jobs in the first 3 years. But the Republicans completely ignore that the domestic spending cuts will also kill an estimated 1.3 million jobs in the same timeframe. Put another way, sequestration will kill 2.6 million American jobs in just 3 years. We simply must stop the sequestration-mandated spending cuts disaster, but this bill won't do that.
This bill mandates draining tens of billions of dollars of Federal spending next year, reducing the already draconian domestic spending caps, and doing all of this without adding a single dollar of additional revenue. The outcome is virtually the same. This Republican bill will still kill a couple of million American jobs. Talk about driving off a cliff.
Basic economics tells us that during good times, with low unemployment, government should reduce the national debt, but that to support job growth, government must not reduce spending during recessions. Now when we suffer from high unemployment, the proposed spending cuts, particularly those of the magnitude Republicans are proposing, would be disastrous. When we get to 5 percent unemployment, then we should start worrying about spending cuts. Right now, jobs are the issue.
Madam Speaker, I urge a ``no'' vote on H.R. 6365.
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