Mr. HIGGINS. Mr. Speaker, the people in this Chamber who do all the complaining about spending, the record clearly shows, voted for all the spending that they complain about: two wars that took $1 trillion out of the American economy, unfunded tax cuts that created the worst economy in 60 years, and an unpaid drug prescription program that will cost $730 billion over the next 10 years.
Moreover, the House Republican budget for 2013 spends $900 billion more than it takes in in revenues. That Republican budget imbalance will require raising the debt ceiling early this year. Raising the debt ceiling does not authorize you to spend more money. It authorizes you to pay back the money that you've already spent. Republicans in this House voted for it, and they have a moral obligation to repay that money.
Mr. Speaker, the American economy needs to grow much more than the projected 2 percent for 2013. Two percent growth is not enough to sustain the current level of employment. The American economy needs robust growth at 3 to 4 percent, growth that can only come from investments in education, road and bridge building, research. We need to do nation-building not in Afghanistan, not in Iraq, but nation-building at home, here in America.