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Providing for Consideration of H.R. 325, No Budget, No Pay Act of 2013

Floor Speech

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Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. GEORGE MILLER of California. Mr. Speaker and Members of the House, at the end of the day when we vote today, we will simply be voting to kick the can down the road--which every Member of this House has told their constituents they no longer wanted to do--but we will kick the can down the road on the question of the debt limit of the United States and whether or not the full faith and credit of the United States will stand behind the bills that we owe the rest of the world, the businesses and our companies, individuals, people's retirement plans. That's all this bill does. Under some sort of camouflage about withholding pay, what have you, they kick the can down the road.

You know, Americans are starting to realize that the economy is starting to recover after the devastation of the housing scandals, of the Wall Street scandals. Small businesses are starting to hire; spending over Christmas was reasonably good; the stock market is at a 5-year high; the housing market is coming back; builders are in fact building new homes because of the demand in housing.

All of a sudden, enter the Congress of the United States and it says that we're going to put the full faith and credit of the United States of America on a 90-day leash. We're going to take the greatest economy in the greatest country with the greatest responsibility in the world and we're going to put them on a 90-day leash.

How does a great country respond on a 90-day leash? We know how it responded last time the world saw this happen. We got downgraded in the credit rating. That drove up the borrowing cost of the United States. That drove up the borrowing cost of corporations. That drove up the borrowing cost of counties and cities--the counties and the cities that we represent. And we're told again that should we falter on the credit debt of the United States, that we can expect a downgrade and we can expect a further downgrade in cities and counties all over the country, and somehow we're supposed to believe that this is a good plan.

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Mr. GEORGE MILLER of California. What this plan does is hold the jobs of America's families and working people all across this country hostage. It holds them hostage to the passage of this legislation, and it holds them hostage 90 days from now.

This bill says if you don't vote for the Ryan budget--because we know the votes are on the other side of the aisle to pass the Ryan budget--then we go back to putting the credit of the United States at risk. The last time the American people looked at the Ryan budget they rejected it overwhelmingly. Do you remember the election of November, just a couple of months ago? They rejected those cuts in Medicare, those cuts in Medicaid, and the tax cuts for the wealthy.

Yet all of this is being put back on the table by holding the debt limit hostage, holding the credit hostage, and holding American jobs hostage. So if you don't vote for that budget, then they get to play with the debt limit again. They get to play with the debt limit again.

We have got big lifts to make between now and then, folks. We have sequestration, we have tax reform, and we have a budget to write. Let's just get down to business and do it. Just do it. Don't play with the credit of this country. Don't play with people's pension plans. Don't play with the interest rates that corporations have to pay to borrow. Don't play with the interest rates that your local municipalities have to pay to borrow for projects in their districts.

This has got to stop. If you really believe that America is a great country, if you really believe that we're an international power, then we ought to start acting like one, and the Congress of the United States ought to start acting like it. And 90-day extensions on the creditworthiness of the United States is not the picture you paint when you're an international power.

It has to stop. It has to stop. We cannot continue to go through this and put all of this at risk and put this recovery that is, in fact, happening at risk because of the actions of the majority here in this House, once again, to fool with the credit.

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Mr. GEORGE MILLER of California. Do you want to shut down the government? Have at it. I was here when it happened before. You'll find all your constituents up close and personal. You'll get to know them. That's a lot different. That's a lot different action. You want to go off with sequestration? You don't like the cuts that come up with its substitute? Fine. We voted for sequestration. You told the American people with your votes you were prepared to have sequestration if we didn't do the job. So you've got a lot of tough votes to make. Don't try to avoid them by holding the creditworthiness of the United States at risk.

It has got to stop, and it should stop today on the floor of the House of Representatives. We should say to the world that we are prepared to have this country pay the bills. The deficits have been incurred by our actions. It has got to stop today with a ``no'' vote against this legislation.

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