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Public Statements

Protecting Military Pay

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

BREAK IN TRANSCRIPT

Mr. GRAHAM. Mr. President, thank you.

The idea that ObamaCare--the Affordable Health Care Act--over time will be seen in history as having been a good thing for the American people, I guess that is a bit in doubt. The President keeps saying there will come a day when we will look back and claim to have voted for this. Maybe he is right. Maybe that day, around the bend, down the road, over the hill, is there.

All I can say is don't we know enough now about the Affordable Health Care Act--ObamaCare--to slow down, take a time out, and see if we can make it better? Because the problems associated with the act are real. We do not need any more information. We do not need any more time. We just need to fix it in a bipartisan fashion. We passed it in a partisan fashion. Can we begin to look at the law anew in a bipartisan fashion? America would be better off.

What do we know? We know a lot of people are working 29 hours, when they had 40-hour work. If you do not believe me, ask the unions. I never thought I would live to say this: Just listen to the unions. I do not say that a lot about their positions, but they are telling the President and anybody who will listen that ObamaCare--the Affordable Health Care Act--is denying the 40-hour workweek. Why can't we do something about that?

The medical device manufacturers, the people who do all the very neat things to make life better, particularly for people who have been devastated in Iraq and Afghanistan, coming up with ways to make better the lives of people who had catastrophic injury--thirty-four of our Democratic friends have said this tax is not a good idea for that sector of the economy.

So the jury is in on enough for us to slow down and start over and get this thing right. The good news for today is that we are not going to agree to blame each other. They are not going to accept blame. We are not going to accept blame about where we are. But the one thing today is I think we have solved the problem, at least partially, for the military. The people on the civilian side who work for the military, I do not know if they are covered.

But I want America to understand that the Congress did something appropriate just a few minutes ago; that is, to tell the men and women in the military: Do not worry about this debacle up here in Washington when it comes to your paycheck. You are going to get paid. I will talk later on down the road about what kind of military we are handing to the next generation, what kind of funding we have for the military and how smart sequestration is.

But I just want to ask my colleagues, don't we know enough already about the Affordable Health Care Act to stop and work together before we plunge on, because it starts tomorrow. I do not know why our Democratic friends are so insistent that we cannot take a timeout, start over, and see if we can find some bipartisan consensus. Until we do that, this problem only gets worse.

I would conclude with this thought: The Democratic Party came up with the Affordable Care Act. They passed it on a party-line vote. But this thing is just not helping Democrats or hurting Republicans, it is hurting the economy as a whole.

So the one thing I can tell you about big ideas: When one party pushes it through and nobody else on the other side signs up, we need to be wary about that product.

I yield.

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