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Public Statements

Addressing the Fiscal Cliff

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Ms. BROWN of Florida. I'm Corrine Brown from Florida, and I'm from the home of Claude Pepper. He was a House Member and a Senator, but he was Mr. Social Security. He was here during the time of Ronald Reagan, and he made sure that Social Security, which was enacted under the Democrats, and I will never forget, Newt Gingrich said that he wanted it to ``wither on the vine.'' That's been their philosophy.

Now, I feel that Medicaid, Medicare, and Social Security is the difference between us and many of the Third World countries. In fact, it has been the bedrock of American politics as far as helping to raise the standards.

You know, many of my colleagues often talk about the Bible. Well, the Bible says--I've never heard them say let's help the rich--the Bible always talks about the poor and what we need to do to help raise the standards. That's what we're supposed to be doing in the people's House. During the campaign, they constantly confused the American people, talking about the $715 billion that was in both proposals that was savings, that we put back into the system that helped people that were receiving their prescription drugs. We were helping to lower the cost. In fact, we were plugging the doughnut hole. So that argument is over. And the fact is that it will be 434-1. I will never vote to do anything with Social Security as we speak.

And when you talk about Medicaid and Medicare, many of those people are in nursing homes that cannot speak for themselves. They only have us as their voices. And as we negotiate and discuss, let's look at one group, African American men. Most of them don't live long enough to benefit, and everything is not equal. When we look at jobs and professions, many of you have these nice cushiony jobs, and so we don't even have to worry about raising the age. But when we look at people who actually work for a living, whether we're talking about bridges or whether we're talking about driving trains or trucks, you want to raise the limit for them? So there are many issues that need to be discussed as we move forward.

But when President Clinton was in office, he left this country in the black. The people have weighed in. They've indicated that we want to move forward, put people to work; but we want to do it through a fair method of doing it, and that is not cutting programs that impact the working poor in this country.

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