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Public Statements

Veterans Benefits Continuing Appropriations Resolution, 2014

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. SCHIFF. Mr. Speaker, as we approach the end of the first week of the GOP shutdown, I want to highlight the impact it's having on just one sector of our government, the intelligence community.

As Director Clapper and Director Alexander made clear in testimony in the Senate yesterday, 70 percent of key analysts have been forced to leave their posts. This is irresponsible, tragic and, most painfully, completely avoidable.

House Republicans now say they will put up a bill funding veterans, but not the intelligence agencies. Or tomorrow, the intelligence agencies, but not the FBI, or the FBI, but not the Department of Homeland Security, or DHS and NIH, but not the Department of Justice.

This is ridiculous, senseless, and reckless.

Let's be honest about what the House leadership is really saying. We will choose, hostage by hostage, which agency of the government we will release. We will do so only to buy time until the ransom we want we get, the repeal of an unrelated health care reform.

As our intelligence analysts and other key personnel sit idle, our adversaries do not. Those who threaten the country have not been furloughed. Those devising new ways to attack our homeland, our allies, and innocent civilians around the world, are not on hiatus. They are working hard, and so must we.

End the reckless shutdown now. Put the intelligence agencies back to work. Put all Americans back to work. End the endless series of manmade, avoidable and irresponsible crises that threaten our country and our economic recovery.

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