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Permanent Estate Tax Relief For Families, Farmers, And Small Businesses Act Of 2009

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC

* Mr. BECERRA. Mr. Speaker, I rise in opposition to H.R. 4154, a bill that would cut taxes for millionaires at a time when Americans are struggling to hold on to their paychecks, their homes, and their dignity.

* Today, one in ten Americans is out of work, one in eight Americans is receiving food assistance, and one in six of our children is living in poverty. With such need in this nation, Congress's primary mission must be to create jobs and strengthen economic security for the American people. When Congress convened in January, the economy was losing 20,000 jobs each day, and we took decisive action to avert the freefall of the economy and to set it on the path to recovery. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act made critical investments in our communities, infrastructure, education, and clean energy, and has so far created or saved as many as 1.6 million jobs.

* As a result of this decisive action by Congress, the most recent Department of Labor jobs report showed that this country lost 587,000 fewer jobs in November 2009 than January 2009. While a significant improvement over the numbers at the beginning of this year, it is clear that this recession is still exacting a devastating toll. Congress must keep its focus on creating jobs. Legislation is urgently needed to provide assistance to prepare workers to fill occupations like nursing which have a shortage of skilled workers, to invest in new job-creating technologies, and to encourage the next generation of entrepreneurs to produce the new ventures and products that will ensure that the American economy returns to its preeminent position in the world.

* This legislation does not help the millions of Americans in need nor does it set the right priorities for this country. In such dire economic times with the largest budget deficit in this nation's history, this Congress does not have the luxury of bestowing this tax cut of a quarter-trillion dollars on millionaires.

* I urge my colleagues to vote against this bill that helps only millionaires, and to turn their focus towards the problems of those Americans who are in economic crisis or could shortly be confronted with painful financial decisions if this economy does not start improving its employment outlook.

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