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Full-Year Continuing Appropriations Act, 2011

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. FILNER. Madam Chair, I move to strike the last word.

The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman from California is recognized for 5 minutes.

Mr. FILNER. I'm a little disappointed in the amendment by my friend from Arizona. This is our biggest deficit hawk in the House. He wants to cut $18 million from the Defense budget. Did I get that number right, Mr. Flake, $18 million? I mean, we've got a $612 billion Defense budget. What are you, .000001 percent of the budget? Not good for a Senator from Arizona, Mr. Flake.

I would say let's really get at this. Man, you want to cut the budget? Republican President and Republican Congress funded a whole two wars off the budget. We're talking about trillions of dollars added to our deficit. You don't go after those, Mr. Flake. We need you to go after those. We will gladly support you. Eighteen million out of a $612 billion budget? I'll vote for the amendment, and you know, whenever I vote for one, you win.

But let's go after some real stuff in that Pentagon budget, and let's not go after jobs as this underlying bill does. Come on. You know, you talked about jobs the whole campaign. I haven't seen a pro-job bill yet from the Republicans in this Congress, and yet this bill, H.R. 1, cuts millions of jobs.

I am on the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, Mr. Flake. I don't know if you know about it, but the cuts to the clean water moneys--


Mr. FILNER. Madam Chair, did you know that the bill cuts millions of jobs from our economy, the cuts to the Clean Water Act, the cuts to the High-Speed Intercity Passenger Rail Program, and other infrastructure cuts? In my State of California, we are losing, just on this bill, almost 50,000 jobs; the total jobs around the country, almost 300,000. Come on. This is not a way to both cut the deficit and keep our economy going.

I happen to represent a border district. I represent the whole Mexican border with California. Madam Chair, I'm sure Mr. Flake knows very well the border in Arizona, and he knows that in this bill, the GSA construction and acquisition funding line has been eliminated--eliminated--$894 million worth.

I don't know about in the State that Mr. Flake represents, but I'll tell you, in California, you are eliminating the several-hundred-million-dollar modernization of two of the biggest border crossings in our country and the biggest one in the world.

In my district, 300,000 people cross the border every day legally--legally--and they're crossing mainly for jobs and for shopping. We all know we need to make that far more efficient, that crossing, so people can spend money in our country and create jobs. You have eliminated the whole modernization moneys out of this budget, and I'm sure it affects Arizona.

The Otay Mesa crossing where we have all the commercial crossings in California, gone. The biggest border crossing in the world in San Ysidro, gone. Another big one in my district, Calexico, California, gone.

We are leaving billions of dollars on the table, Madam Chair, for jobs in our economy. If we don't have efficient border crossings, we don't have trade. We don't have shopping. We don't have the crossings that are legal that we all want to encourage. These modernization programs went directly at that, not only in California but in Texas, in New Mexico, and I'm sure in Arizona. And yet all those jobs that are created by more efficient crossings are now thrown away.

So the gentleman from Arizona who wants to give up efficient border crossings in his State, you might tell him, Madam Chairman, I don't think that's a good way to run for the Senate. Taking $18 million out of a defense budget of $612 billion is pretty miserly stuff. It's not even a good symbol for a guy running for Senate in the United States.

We should really go after what the Republicans said they are going after. Let's end the war in Afghanistan, save trillions of dollars off the deficit. But more importantly, the cuts that we have seen in infrastructure in this country, the cuts we have seen in GSA are costing hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of jobs. This is a job buster. It should be defeated.

I yield back the balance of my time, Madam Chair.


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