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Public Statements

Providing for Consideration of Senate Amendment to H.J. Res. 66, Permanent Tax Relief for Families and Small Businesses Act of 2012, and Providing for Consideration of H.R. 6684, Spending Reduction Act of 2012

Floor Speech

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Date:
Location: Unknown

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Ms. JACKSON LEE of Texas. I thank the gentlelady, the ranking member from the Rules Committee, and I thank the chairman of the Rules Committee.

Mr. Speaker, when I mention the words Hurricane Sandy and the tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut, many would wonder what do they have in common? The enormous gun tragedy, a loss of 26 lives, and Americans suffering from a devastating storm. Certainly our hearts go out for those babies who were lost. But it really speaks to Americans in need. And I guess that's why I'm so troubled to be on the floor today, because the framework that we have says to America that when you're in need, we will not, as this Congress and as this government, be prepared to help you.

I think what is disappointing--and I know for the Speaker it is probably the same case as I'm speaking, because just about 3 days ago we thought there was a deal between the White House and the framework that was offered and the leadership of this House. It's disappointing that, in the course of a couple of days, we've come to a situation where this plan, Plan B, raises only about $300 billion from high-income households, and the Center on Budget Priorities suggests that millionaires will get $108,500 per million, over $1 million in tax cuts.

But what will the middle class get?

Plan B allows the old pre-Bush--or Bush tax cuts to continue the itemized deductions for the rich, giving them more opportunity to keep their money. In fact, we will lose $400 billion, under this plan, in high-income revenues. Disappointing.

But at the same time, there is a thought that we should cut Social Security by changing the way Social Security is calculated, so that if a senior buys cheap food, that means they need cheap Social Security, and we cut their Social Security benefits because we thought there was a deal. I can't agree with that at all, cutting Social Security, and I can't agree with recalculating how a senior gets their check.

But I will tell you that this plan raises taxes rather than reduces it, as the President wants to do, as this House of Democrats wants to do, as the Senate bill, where 180-plus Democrats have signed. This raises taxes $1,000 on 25 million working families.

And then there is a mysterious bill that, I guess, suggests that we are in the business of making cuts. But you know what that will do?

And by the way, there's no sequester plan in this plan that is here. It cuts education, research, and national security; but it also cuts the hardworking Americans who are yet employed, and it cuts off 2 million of them, unemployment insurance. It cuts out doctors.

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Mr. DREIER. I just wanted to inquire. I didn't understand this ``there is no sequester here.'' We're dealing with the threat of a sequester, and our idea is $238 billion in spending reductions within the reconciliation bill that passed the House last May is what we're including. So I just didn't understand, if I could just ask my friend.

And I'm happy to yield her an additional 30 seconds, Mr. Speaker.

Ms. JACKSON LEE of Texas. I thank the gentleman for his inquiry.

When we started out with the Plan B, there was no sequester plan. Obviously, there was a mysterious offering last evening.

Mr. DREIER. If the gentlewoman would further yield, let me just say that there is a plan to respond to the sequester, and that is the $238 billion reduction over a 10-year period of time that is the reconciliation bill that was passed by the House last May.

Ms. JACKSON LEE of Texas. Reclaiming my time, I thank the gentleman.

In the original Plan B that I assume the Rules Committee was to address last evening through the distinguished chairperson, there was no sequester plan. We were in a posture of cutting education and research.

Yes, you are right. In the creative work of your staff, as you said right here on the floor of the House, late into the night you found the reconciliation that had been addressed in the summer, I believe, and all of us, a lot of us, voted against it.

All of us voted against it, and we understand that that plan will have no traction in the United States Senate. I thank the gentleman for his work, but what I'm suggesting is there is no sequester plan. There was no sequester plan with the Plan B. And as I was saying, if I can quickly go back, Madam Ranking Member, without this plan, what we leave in place with Plan B, which really troubles me, coming from the Texas Medical Center and meeting with the hospital before I left Houston, it cuts reimbursements for doctors seeing Medicare patients by 27 percent. Fifty million Americans will then have their health care in jeopardy. It cuts nutrition plans, food stamps. There is no plan.

My quiet comment, Mr. Speaker, as I close, it is in disappointment. It is not in shrill debate. It is simply in disappointment. Because we have Americans who are looking to us to work with the President, to work with the Speaker, to go forward on the plan that was offered on Monday--at least for us to debate--and to find a way to be able to respond when people like those victims of Hurricane Sandy and Newtown, Connecticut, call on us. That's all I'm asking my colleagues, is that you work with us.

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