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Providing For Consideration of H. CON. RES. 34, Concurrent Resolution on The Budget For Fiscal Year 2012

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


I thank my colleague from the Rules Committee for yielding.

We've got a good freshman class up there on the Rules Committee. And what we've been able to do under the leadership of Chairman Dreier is bring open processes to the floor. Can you imagine, we've got a multitude of budgets down here on the floor. If you want to look at the Congressional Black Caucus budget, you can vote for that today. If you want to vote for the Republican Study Committee budget, you can vote for that today. If you want to vote for Mr. Van Hollen's budget, you can vote for that today. You have your choices today about what your priorities are and about what your vision for America's future is.

And when we have that conversation--and we've had it in the Budget Committee. I'm proud to be able to serve on both the Rules Committee and the Budget Committee--we've had that on the Budget Committee, an honest back and forth. So it pains me to come to the floor today and hear what can only be described as nonsense. Nonsense.

Have you heard anybody on the House floor today say that the Republican budget would change things for seniors? Have you heard that today? I believe you have because I've heard it over and over again. The truth of the matter is the Republican budget changes nothing, nothing for seniors. It says you don't even have to be a senior. If you're age 55 or older, we change nothing in Medicare for you. Nothing.

Yet my colleagues on the left are scaring today's seniors, scaring the folks who have the fewest number of choices in our society, scaring them into believing that folks are coming for them. Not true.

Our colleagues on the left would say $6,000 is what we're going to charge additional to seniors. Well, two things: Number one, again, we're not doing anything for seniors. You've got to be 55 or younger. You've got to be my age to even begin to have a program change.

And more importantly, that $6,000 figure comes from a CBO report looking at things 12 years down the road, which is 2 years after the Medicare program has gone bankrupt entirely. Hear that. Hear that misinformation: $6,000 per beneficiary, a number that comes from a report looking at the program 2 years after our trustees tell us it's going to go bankrupt entirely.

Folks, this is about choices. This is about your vision for America. You have to put forward your plan. I applaud Mr. Van Hollen for putting a plan forward. He could have said, no, I don't have any ideas. That's what the White House has chosen to do. Mr. Van Hollen did better. The Congressional Black Caucus did better. The Republican Study Committee did better.

Look at these budgets. Look at the open process. Make the choice for you about what you believe a better America would look like. The Wall Street Journal talked about the Path to Prosperity and called it the most serious attempt at reforming government in a generation. It absolutely is. I applaud Chairman Ryan for getting that done.

I thank my friend from South Carolina for the time, and I appreciate the Rules Committee giving us this open process that we have today.


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