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Full-Year Continuing Appropriations Act, 2011

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Ms. WASSERMAN SCHULTZ. Parliamentary inquiry, Mr. Chairman.

The Acting CHAIR. Does the gentleman from Georgia yield for a parliamentary inquiry?

Mr. GRAVES of Georgia. Sir, I would rather just finish my comments here. They have plenty of time on their side.

The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman does not yield for that purpose and continues to be recognized.

Mr. GRAVES of Georgia. And since today we're here to talk about saving the taxpayer dollars, let's remember the cost of ObamaCare.

Ms. WASSERMAN SCHULTZ. Mr. Chairman, I have a parliamentary inquiry.

The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman from Georgia would need to yield for a parliamentary inquiry.

The gentleman from Georgia is recognized.

Mr. GRAVES of Georgia. So we are here today to talk about the taxpayers' money. Let's remember the cost of ObamaCare: $2.6 trillion over the first 10 years once it's implemented, $560 billion in new taxes on American families and businesses, unconstitutional mandates, higher premiums, and, yes, lost coverage.

The law is so damaging that the Obama administration themselves have granted at least 915 waivers for health plans and organizations.

Now, think about that savings--2.5 million people from ObamaCare.

Mr. Chairman, let's save the rest of America here today and let's support the Rehberg amendment and move on and zero out the payments to those ObamaCare bureaucrats.


Ms. WASSERMAN SCHULTZ. Mr. Chairman, I have a parliamentary inquiry.

The Acting CHAIR. The gentlewoman will state her inquiry.

Ms. WASSERMAN SCHULTZ. Mr. Chairman, is it a violation of the House rules wherein Members are not permitted to make disparaging references to the President of the United States? In two previous gentlemen's statements on the amendment, both of them referred to the Affordable Care Act, which is the accurate title of the health care reform law, as ObamaCare. That is a disparaging reference to the President of the United States, it is meant as a disparaging reference to the President of the United States, and it is clearly in violation of the House rules against that.

The Acting CHAIR. The gentlewoman has stated a hypothetical. The Chair will not issue an advisory opinion, but will inform all Members that remarks in debate must avoid personalities, including personalities toward the President.



Mr. Chairman, I rise today to oppose the Republicans' latest cynical and callous attempts to derail health care reform, and I think it's quite interesting that the gentleman from Montana would be dismissive of the issue of deficit reduction and that somehow that's now labeled a distraction.

I think that adding $5.5 billion to the deficit when we should be going in the opposite direction is far more than a distraction. It's a moral imperative that we not do that. In the past 6 weeks, we have seen the true face of the Republicans' legislative agenda. Rather than work to create jobs and improve our economy, they have focused on baseless attacks on American families.

With their repeal and replace bills, they have demonstrated that they don't mind if insurance companies drop patients as soon as they get sick, or that families wouldn't be able to save thousands of dollars by keeping young adult children on their family plan. And with this pernicious amendment, we now see their outrageous attempts to strip funding from the implementation of the health care law.

Let's be clear: Our colleagues across the aisle want to yank funding from a law that is already helping millions of Americans. This amendment would seize funding from the agencies and workers who have already been tasked with implementing the most essential tenets of the Affordable Care Act, provisions which are already making a world of difference in millions of lives.

If this amendment passes, seniors will be thrown back into the Medicare part D doughnut hole coverage gap and be forced to pay exorbitant costs for their prescription drugs. Women in desperate need of an annual mammogram or a colonoscopy will once again face prohibitive copays or perhaps face denial of coverage for the preexisting condition of simply having ovaries, and our Nation will once again return to the egregious practice of denying so many young children coverage for their health history that they cannot control.

Rather than roll back the hard-fought consumer protections and freedoms that unshackled Americans from the whims of private insurance companies, Republicans should be working with us to build on and improve the health care system. Instead, they wish to use this amendment process to reverse the progress that we have made with these vital health care reforms. I am glad the American people can see their hypocrisy right out in the open.


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