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Providing for Consideration of H.R. 1255, Government Shutdown Prevention Act of 2011

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. PALLONE. Madam Speaker, I know it's April Fool's Day, but I still am amazed by the jokes or the myths that are being relayed by my colleagues on the other side of the aisle. And I like my colleague from Georgia, but I just want to say three things.

First of all, I heard the gentleman from California (Mr. Dreier) get up and say that the Republican policies with this CR were creating jobs. And he cited the fact that the unemployment numbers went down from 8.9 to 8.8 in March. If anyone thinks that by passing 2- or 3-week CRs that you're going to create jobs and somehow improve the economy and lower the unemployment rate, you know, I've got a bridge to sell you.

The fact of the matter is that every economist is telling us that this Republican CR kills jobs. Economic Policy Institute shows that the Republican CR would destroy more than 800,000 jobs. And I could go through the list.

So the myth that they are creating jobs and helping the economy with this is simply not true.

The second thing is, the gentleman keeps talking about Congress not getting paid if there is a shutdown. Well, S. 388, to stop Member pay during a shutdown, passed the Senate unanimously over 1 month ago with Republican leader Mitch McConnell's support. It has been sitting right here at the House desk because the Republican leadership refuses to take it up. That bill could become law today if they wanted to bring it up. Simply bring it up. Don't mask what you are doing with the CR by talking about Members getting paid. You can bring that bill up at any time.

Now, the third myth is this idea that the Republicans are not preventing a government shutdown. They are the ones that are preventing the government shutdown because they refuse to compromise. There are negotiations going on with the Senate, but it is the tea party and the right wing of the Republican Party that keeps insisting that ``it is my way or the highway.'' Pass H.R. 1, pass their CR, or do nothing. Yesterday was a rally on the Mall. What did the tea party cry out? They said cut it or shut it. Either go along with my bill, or shut the government down.

So don't say you are trying to prevent a government shutdown. You are doing just the opposite. Let's not continue with all these myths today, April Fool's Day.


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