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Department of Defense and Full-Year Continuing Appropriations Act, 2011

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC

* Mr. WAXMAN. Mr. Speaker, it is with reluctance that I oppose this legislation. The President and Senator REID worked as hard as they possibly could to blunt the extreme Republican agenda. As everyone knows, these spending cuts are before us today because the Republicans did not hesitate to resort to the most irresponsible tactics to try to enforce their radical agenda.

* While there are some program cuts I can support, others harm programs affecting millions of Americans. I am particularly concerned by the cuts to Community Health Centers ($600 million from last year's spending levels), Health Care Facilities and Activities ($338 million), Women and Infant Children programs ($504 million), Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy programs ($438 million), Clean Water and Safe Drinking Water State Revolving funds ($997 million), Climate Change programs ($49 million), HIV AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD and TB Prevention ($730 million), LIHEAP (Low income energy assistance) ($390 million), U.S. Agency for International Development ($39 million), International Clean Technology Fund ($115 million), Highway Construction ($2.5 billion), and High Speed Rail ($2.9 billion).

* For all the effort made, these cuts in funding do not have any significant impact on the deficit. Because of the Republicans' ideological blinders, taxes and revenues get no consideration here. The deficit cannot be solved without addressing revenues, and the silence on this issue from the Republican Party is deafening.

* I also must register my profound objection to the rider attached in this bill that prohibits the District of Columbia Government from funding abortions. By what moral right does the Republican leadership override unilaterally the sovereign decisions taken by the government and people of the District of Columbia? This is shameful and deeply offensive and I hope Congress can find the strength ultimately to reverse it.

* Again, I believe President Obama and Senator REID did the very best they could under near-impossible circumstances deliberately engineered by the Republican leadership. Unfortunately, this bill will inflict too big a price on many programs the American people and our country need. I must therefore vote against it.

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