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Mr. UPTON. Today, we take a stand for future generations as we work to get our $16 trillion national debt under control and as we put ourselves on a path towards a more sound fiscal future.
In the Spending Reduction Act of 2012, we identified key areas to sensibly reduce spending in the effort to replace the blunt instrument known as the ``sequester.'' Without this thoughtful, balanced package of savings, in 2 weeks the sequester is going to cut discretionary spending indiscriminantly while shielding the lion's share of the government's budget from reductions.
Critical priorities, such as important cancer research at the NIH and FDA review and inspection budgets to help keep foods and medicines safe, are on the chopping block because we have failed to engage in a substantive discussion on reforming entitlement programs that, in fact, threaten to derail the long-term solvency of the U.S.
I am proud of the work of our committee. It has identified over $100 billion in savings over the next decade, and we accomplished it in a sensible, responsible manner. We say enough is enough to the litany of slush funds tucked into ObamaCare, slush funds that we discovered, through aggressive oversight, to be blank checks given to HHS that are going to cost taxpayers billions of dollars.
We made commonsense changes to Medicaid that are going to put important programs on firmer ground. Among other reforms, we eliminated the Medicaid maintenance-of-effort requirement. This Federal mandate impedes a State's ability to implement program integrity measures, and it actually weakens the safety net by making it more difficult for States to target resources to the most vulnerable Americans. We achieved significant savings, as well, in something that was noticeably absent in the President's health care law, that being tort reform. The President declared in his 2011 State of the Union Message:
I am willing to look at other ideas to bring down costs, including one that Republicans suggested last year--medical malpractice reform to rein in frivolous lawsuits.
After 2 years of empty promises, now is the time for the President to fulfill that pledge and to finally put doctors, patients, and taxpayers first. That's in this bill.
The House passed a budget and now legislation again that truly cuts spending to offset the automatic spending cuts, or sequester. Our debt grows by nearly $4 billion a day, and it's our kids and our grandkids who are going to pay the price if we stand by and do nothing. Without action, a $20 trillion debt could soon be a reality.
So, if not us, who is going to do it? If not now, when is it going to happen? Our work is not easy, but it's necessary. It's time to make the tough choices to get this deficit down. Let's vote for this bill.
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