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Social Security and CAFTA

Location: Washington, DC

SOCIAL SECURITY AND CAFTA -- (House of Representatives - July 20, 2005)

(Mr. RYAN of Wisconsin asked and was given permission to address the House for 1 minute.)

Mr. RYAN of Wisconsin. Mr. Speaker, the rhetoric we are hearing from the other side on Social Security and CAFTA is unbelievable. It is unbelievable because it is not factual. What we are proposing to do with Social Security is to stop the raid of the Social Security surplus and give that money to the worker to go toward their Social Security retirement benefit. If it does not stop the raid, then how come the CBO, the Congressional Budget Office, tells us that the deficit goes up by an equal amount? How can they tell us, Congress, you are either going to have to raise taxes, cut spending or borrow somewhere else because they will not get the Social Security benefit because it is going to workers?

On CAFTA, it is a one-way trade agreement we have today. This makes it two-way. They already have free access to the American markets. We do not have equal access to their markets. They already have lower standards on worker rights, on environment. This raises those standards. If we do not pass CAFTA, they get a free deal. We get no deal. They have low labor rights. If we do pass CAFTA, we not only improve their labor conditions, we improve the enforcement of their labor rights and we give the American worker and the American economy a fair trade deal like we are now giving them.

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