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Public Statements

Sequestration

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mrs. CAROLYN B. MALONEY of New York. I want to thank my colleague for leading this very important Special Order and to note two women's issues that will be introduced next week.

One is the women's museum. It will cost no extra money and will create a commission to put a women's museum on the Mall. We have it for postage stamps, flights. It should be there for half the population, and it is something, hopefully, we can move forward with in a bipartisan way.

Also, next week, I'm reintroducing the equal rights amendment. We really lag behind in the Western World in not having that important provision in our Constitution. But regrettably, this country has a habit of sweeping women's issues under the rug and ignoring them; and this meat cleaver approach through sequestration will disproportionately hurt women.

Tomorrow, $85 billion will be cut from our budget, sequestration will go into effect, and economists predict that over 700,000 jobs will be lost.

Chairman Bernanke testified yesterday before the Financial Services Committee that the sequester could make it harder to reduce the deficit, not easier. The whole purpose of sequestration is to reduce the deficit. But as he pointed out in his testimony--and I will quote him directly--he said that it would have ``adverse effects on jobs and incomes,'' and ``a slower recovery would lead to less actual deficit reduction.'' So here we are hearing from the head of the Federal Reserve and many economists that sequestration will literally hurt the deficit, hurt our economy, and hurt jobs.

Why can't we agree on a measured, balanced approach that targets certain areas such as tax loopholes? Why in the world are we giving tax deductions to companies that move jobs overseas? We should be giving tax incentives to people who create jobs in America, not those who move their companies and their jobs overseas. And why are we giving up to 40 percent subsidies to very profitable oil companies that are making profits? Why are we doing that when we are going to be turning around?

Because of sequestration, we'll be cutting teachers, which is the very investment that we need for the future. Teaching is one of the professions that is disproportionately headed by women. So disproportionately these cuts are not only going to hurt the future of our country, but women teachers and male teachers in our country.

I am particularly concerned in one area that my friend mentioned, and that's research. This country has invested in research, and it is one of the areas that has moved us out of our recessions with innovative ideas. But there are across-the-board cuts in research. NIH may face as much as 40 percent cuts. That's the National Institutes of Health.

Right now, 1 in 7 women contracts breast cancer. Because of the research in our great country, lives are being saved. There are 2 percent more lives saved each year because of new breakthroughs in breast cancer treatment. I venture to say there is not a person in this body or America who doesn't have a sister, a mother, a grandmother, or a friend who has not suffered from breast cancer. Yet the treatments, the research, the medical facilities that are there to help women confront this disease will be cut back in the sequestration.

Men also are contracting breast cancer. It is a disease that men are suffering from, and also prostate cancer, but the breakthrough in cures every year to save lives are going to be cut.

This past week, I had a meeting with some of the teaching hospitals in the district that I am privileged to represent, and they had a survivor there. His life had literally been saved with a new breakthrough in treatment and technology that they had developed while at Cornell. He testified that the doctors there with their new research had literally saved his life.

It is this lifesaving, cutting-edge research that we will be cutting away, along with many other important areas. Why are we passing the Violence Against Women Act and then turning around and cutting it dramatically with sequestration?

So I join my good friend from the great State of Maryland in really protesting sequestration. The approach doesn't work. Even Chairman Bernanke says it's wrong, wrongheaded, and will not help us reduce the deficit. And it particularly is disastrous to programs, research, and health care that impact women.

With that, I thank the gentlelady for organizing this Special Order.

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