Ms. EDDIE BERNICE JOHNSON of Texas. Madam Speaker, I rise today to implore the House GOP leadership to address the looming fiscal cliff. We have only a few hours left, and we owe it to the American people to find a solution, pass legislation, and send it to the President for his signature tonight.
There is too much at stake to let this critical situation devolve into the same politics as usual that we have seen throughout this Congress. The consequences of failure or inaction are dire. According to the Congressional Budget Office, going over the cliff would raise the unemployment rate from 7.9 to 9.1 percent in 2013. We would also see devastating cuts to programs that pay for education, food inspection, and air travel safety, nearing $55 billion.
Madam Speaker, there is no more time, and the American people are depending on us for a solution to avoid this fiscal cliff.