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Public Statements

CBC Hour: The People's Budget

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Ms. BROWN of Florida. First of all, I want to thank the chairperson for conducting this discussion pertaining to the CBC's budget because I think it is the most compassionate budget that will be presented to the House.

My question for you, Madam Chair, is that I just returned from Florida. Florida ranks first in the last 8 months with the number of people losing their homes because of foreclosure, Miami being first, Orlando being second, Jacksonville being eighth. People approach me about jobs. They're not talking to me about the deficit. They want to know what we are doing as far as putting the American people to work.

Can you expound upon that for me, please?

Ms. FUDGE. Absolutely. I thank the gentlelady.

What we have done in this budget, not only did we put in $13 billion for workforce training, for Job Corps, for dislocated workers, retraining, segment training, but, in total, we have almost $500 billion worth of job creation built into our budget, more than any budget--more than any budget--whether it be the Democratic Caucus, the White House budget, or the Republican budget. We have doubled down on jobs in the CBC budget.

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Ms. BROWN of Florida. Thank you so much, and thank you for your leadership.

I really do believe when you're born you get a birth certificate, and when you die you're going to get a death certificate; and that little dash in between is what you've done to make this a better place. And I really want to thank the Congressional Black Caucus for your leadership, for what you have done being the conscience of this House of Representatives, a House that has lost its conscience.

Now, I come from Florida, and our State now ranks number one in foreclosure. Why is that? There's a direct correlation between if you don't have a job, you cannot pay your mortgage. And so the Congressional Black Caucus budget invests in jobs.

I am so sick and tired of this House position--what I called when I was coming up--``reverse Robin Hood,'' robbing from the poor and working people to give tax breaks to the rich.

The Congressional Black Caucus budget on the other hand invests in education, saving the jobs of teachers and first responders. What else good does it do? It makes investment toward rebuilding our neighborhoods; and we all know that for every billion dollars that we spend in infrastructure, it generates 44,000 permanent jobs.

Now, I want to say something about the fact that you can tell something about an organization or a group or your church or your club as to how you spend the money. That's how you can tell. And you can tell whether you care about the children, the disabled, and the elderly.

Coming from Florida, the home of Claude Pepper, I want to be very clear that I will not vote to cut Social Security, Medicaid, or Medicare.

You know what? We did have an election, and I want you to know the people of Florida weighed in. You can fool some of the people some of the time, but you cannot fool all of the people all of the time. And the people of Florida have spoken. They want us to work together, and they want jobs now. They understand that 20 years from now we need to correct Social Security and other things; but today when I go home, the only question they ask me--whether I'm in the dollar store or the nail store or in church--is they want jobs and they want us to work together to bring those jobs to the community.

I really do believe, to whom God has given much, much is expected, and we really need to expect more out of this House of Representatives, the people's House.

Mr. HORSFORD. Thank you, Congresswoman.

As you indicated, in addition to the CBC alternative budget, which focuses on the jobs--maintaining the jobs we have and creating new jobs--the CBC budget also preserves and protects Social Security and Medicare. It rejects the idea of voucherizing care for those who have paid into these programs their entire lives. Instead, it strengthens these programs to guarantee a safe and secure retirement for our parents and our grandparents as well as for the generation to come, which is something that you and other members of the Congressional Black Caucus have fought for for many years in this body.

Ms. BROWN of Florida. I just want to add one other thing. I will never forget that Newt Gingrich said that he wanted Medicaid and Medicare to wither on the vine. That is the philosophy of these people who control this House--wither on the vine.

Mr. HORSFORD. These are vital safety programs that save millions of families, many of whom we serve on the Congressional Black Caucus. These programs save them from poverty, like SNAP and TANF--they are enhanced, so that those who are struggling to get by are given not a handout but a hand up in meeting their needs, so that they and their families can survive for themselves, and we will continue to fight to preserve and protect these programs.

Ms. BROWN of Florida. Absolutely, sir, because absolutely, in coming from Florida, failure is not an option.

Mr. HORSFORD. Mr. Speaker, I would now like to turn to the physician who is in the House. We have one of the experts in health care, someone who knows how important the Affordable Care Act is and the preservation of the Affordable Care Act.

I find it interesting that the House Republican budget calls for the repeal of the Affordable Care Act, but still they take the money and use it to balance their budget. So how can they balance their budget and repeal the Affordable Care Act at the same time?

I yield to the gentlelady from the Virgin Islands, Representative Christensen.

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