BREAK IN TRANSCRIPT
Mr. WELCH. I thank the gentleman.
Madam Speaker, there are a few reasons why this agreement deserves
First, it is good public policy. This finally unleashes the shackles
of the sequester that have prevented Congress from making decisions
and, instead, just had across-the-board cuts. The gentleman from
Kentucky (Mr. Rogers) is going to have an opportunity for his
Appropriations Committee--Republicans and Democrats--to do its job.
Second, it averts enormous increases in Medicare part B premiums.
Third, it keeps Social Security disability funds solvent through
2022, and there are a number of other things.
The second major reason why this is so important is this: It is an
agreement. We have finally come together, through the leadership of
Speaker Boehner and Leader Pelosi, to legislate. We have been part of a
legislative body that is on strike, that hasn't legislated. We cannot
underestimate the power that is unleashed by the capacity of this
Congress to give certainty to the American people and to our agencies
as to what comes ahead and what they have to do.
Secondly, what Speaker Boehner did--and I am so indebted to him, as
all of us should be--is that he took out of the hands of those of us in
Congress two weapons which, when used, are very destructive, and those
are: the threat of shutting the government down, and the threat of
defaulting on America's full faith and credit. We can't do that.
And Speaker Boehner, to his credit, when there was the Planned
Parenthood dispute about funding and he was in favor of cutting
funding, he opposed shutting down government to achieve that goal.
We have suspended the debt ceiling through 2017, which means this
body is going to have not just the opportunity, but the responsibility
to do its job.
Finally, what we have seen here, when Speaker Boehner reached out to
Leader Pelosi, is that he had in the minority leader a willing partner
who was willing to sit down, work hard, and reach an agreement. That
sets the foundation for progress ahead.
I wish the best success to Speaker-to-be Ryan. He has willing and
able partners in the whole Caucus to make progress for America.
BREAK IN TRANSCRIPT