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Full-Year Continuing Appropriations Act, 2011: House of Representatives

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. ANDREWS. Mr. Chairman, for the last 5 weeks or so since the new majority has taken over the House, as 15 million people are unemployed in this country, as people are losing their homes, losing their businesses, the majority has focused like a laser beam on everything except job creation for the American people. They have found time to dabble in a variety of political issues while ignoring the essential purpose for which I believe we were all sent here, which is to foster an environment where businesses and entrepreneurs can create jobs for this country.

This week they have changed. They have gone from ignoring the jobs problem to making it worse. The legislation that's on the floor tonight does reflect a good faith and necessary goal of reducing spending in our country. I don't think there is anyone here who would disagree with the proposition that continuing to spend more than we take in eventually will cause even greater pain and harm to the U.S. economy than it has already caused, which is considerable, indeed.

But all spending cuts are not created equally, and all spending decisions don't have the same consequences. The prism through which we have to look at spending cuts is whether they are sensible or reckless, whether they help to create jobs or destroy jobs. And I would submit, ladies and gentlemen of the House, that the legislation before us is worsening the very deep economic crisis in our country in three ways.

First of all, you can't have economic growth if you don't have safe streets and a safe country. But the provisions of this bill will lead to the layoff of more than 10,000 police officers in cities and towns across our country. The provisions of this bill will lead to the dismissal or furlough of over 1,000 people whose job it is to check containers coming into this country to see if they have dirty bombs or chemical weapons in them. A country that isn't safe won't grow.

Ladies and gentlemen, the other cuts in this bill, let's talk about education. A country that can't learn won't grow. But this legislation will result in the elimination of 10,000 reading tutors and math coaches for the neediest students in this country. It will remove 7,000 teachers who teach autistic kids, children with a learning disability, from classrooms. For the single mom who is struggling to pay her bills, raise her children, and go to school, it will raise her tuition by up to $825 this year by eliminating the college scholarship on which she relies to go to school. A country that doesn't learn doesn't grow, and these cuts will lead us into a country that makes it very difficult in which to learn.

And finally, this country is fueled by research and development, inventing and creating new products, new cures, new solutions to the world's problems. Yet in this bill, in one of the most important areas, medical research, the majority has given us an unwelcomed surprise. There is a spending cut in excess of $600 million from the National Institutes of Health that is described, ladies and gentlemen, as further cuts to get to the 2008 levels. I don't know what that means. I don't think anyone on the majority side will tell us what that means. But I do know this: Thousands of Americans work doing medical research through the National Institutes of Health. Millions of Americans depend upon the miracles which grow out of that research, and this country's economy is stronger when that research continues. That research will be cut. The average cancer research grant in this country is about $500,000. Looking at the cut that's in here, it appears that over 500 cancer research grants will go by the wayside.

A country that isn't safe, a country that isn't learning and investing won't grow. This bill means America won't grow. This bill should be defeated.


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