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American Jobs and the National Debt

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. KELLY. I appreciate that.

To my friend from Arkansas and the rest of my colleagues that are here tonight, I have to tell you, it's only been about 4 months since we all came here, and I think we all came for the right reason. We came for a cause and not a career.

I have got to tell you, the reason I am here tonight is because I had a telephone town hall today, and the folks that called me were seniors. The disturbing part about the conversations were that the most vulnerable folks out there, the people who lived within their means for the longest, made the most sacrifices, did the most to keep the promise that America holds for all of us, are the ones that are being attacked now. And they are not being attacked with facts; they are being attacked with fear.

I have friends who are Democrats, but I would ask them to please, if you can't confuse them, then try to convince them. If you don't have the right facts, then quit using fear. And if they're going to use fear to make these people not able to sleep at night, to make it uncomfortable for them to lay their head on the pillow at night, the same people that have done so much to make the country great, if you are going to continue to lie to them and tell them, Those Republicans are going to take away your health care; they're going to take away Medicare; they are going to take away Medicaid; they're going to ruin Social Security for you, please, please, play by the rules. Play by the rules. Do what's right. Do what's right for America.

This is not about Republicans. This is not about Democrats. This is about Americans. And this is especially about seniors. I am one right now. My birthday was just the other day. I am 63 years old. I don't think of myself as a senior. But you know what? The folks that I see after church on Sunday and who I have coffee with, they are seniors. They are in their seventies and they are in their eighties, and to have to sit there with them and tell them, We are not taking away your Medicare. We're the only ones that have a plan to save it.

We are not taking away your Social Security. We're the only ones that have a plan to make sure it's safe. If we can't be honest, if we can't look each other in the eye and say that we are here to fix it, that we are here to make America have the stability that it once had; if we can not tell our seniors, it's okay folks, we're not going to take anything from you, we're going to work together to get it fixed--and this is the thing that bothers me. After listening to those folks today on the phone, I am convinced that there is something seriously wrong within this House.

Mr. DUNCAN of South Carolina. Will the gentleman yield?

Mr. KELLY. I will yield.

Mr. DUNCAN of South Carolina. You know, you hit a point that seniors are thinking about. They're thinking that they're on a fixed income. They're looking at rising prices, whether it's at the gas pump--we talked today about solving American energy issues, but they're thinking about the rising commodity prices.

I brought with me a bank note, this is an official currency note from the Bank of Zimbabwe. If you look at it, and I know it's going to be difficult, but it's a $100 trillion bank note. A Wall Street Journal article said, How to turn $100 trillion into $5 and feel good about it. It's worth about $5 on eBay. They quit printing them in 2009.

It drives home the point that the policies of this administration are increasing the cost of commodities, the cost of fuel, devaluing our currency, and that applies to health care as well.

Seniors are concerned. They've got every right to be concerned. One thing about the Republican budget, and one thing that the gentleman from Arkansas is trying to point out, that we're trying to solve the problems of this Nation here in this body. This Republican freshman class is taking the bull by the horns to bring home the issue to the American people and let them know we're trying to solve these problems. So I commend him.

Mr. KELLY. I appreciate that. If I may, and I'm going to wrap up. We came here for a cause. We did not come here for a career. And if you cannot win the debate by using facts, and if you have to use fear, then shame on you. Shame on you. Go home. Go home. If you don't want to fix it, if you don't want to play by the rules, if you don't want to make America sleep safely again and sleep soundly, then go home.

There is a level of fairness that needs to be played by. And I will tell you this, I have never in my life been subjected and have watched seniors been put through so much, and it's not necessary.

If it's about your party, and if it's about trying to convince them, then doggone it, you're using the wrong message. Let's make sure that we fix it for the future, because it's there for our seniors, and it's there for our children.


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