Debt Ceiling/Jobs

Floor Speech

By:  Alan Nunnelee
Date: July 14, 2011
Location: Washington, DC


Mr. NUNNELEE. Mr. Speaker, last week we learned that the economy added a meager 18,000 jobs and the unemployment rate went up to 9.2 percent, far from the 6.7 percent that President Obama claimed it would be today if the stimulus bill had been signed into law. Far too many Americans are looking for jobs. Yet the President insists that tax increases are the way to fix Washington's spending problem. Tax hikes that will destroy jobs and destroy the confidence that our job creators need to hire new employees. To keep American jobs here we don't need to raise taxes. We do need to get our fiscal house in order.

Twenty-two million Americans search daily for full-time work, the worst sustained unemployment streak since the Great Depression. To these Americans, there is no end in sight. For them, unemployment's not a rate, it's a reality. Our job crisis has everything to do with our spending crisis and our debt crisis.

If we hit the August 2 deadline, the United States Government will face what many Americans have felt: Too much month left at the end of our money. We simply won't have enough money to pay our bills. Americans have had to make that decision time and time again. At the end of the month, they have to decide what to pay first--the mortgage, the electric bill, the grocery bill, or the car payment.

Now, I will be very disappointed if, in making those decisions, the administration chooses to play politics. We need to make sure we pay Social Security, interest on the debt, Medicare, and our troops that are standing in harm's way. The American people want real solutions, and the House of Representatives has committed to a long-term plan. We voted for a budget that would make Washington start living within its means. Even the President's own chief of staff has said that in 5 years Medicare is going broke.

However, it's been 800 days since our friends in the Senate have passed a budget. And they have nine House-passed jobs bills sitting in their hands, but they refuse to act on any of them.

A recent poll shows that only 17 percent of mothers believe that their children will have a better life in the future. At every townhall meeting I ask participants whether they think their grandchildren will live a better quality of life than they live. The response is slim.

If Congress is going to be asked to raise the debt ceiling, we must have a long-term plan to fix Washington's spending problem. House Republicans have made our demands clear. We will not raise the debt ceiling without spending cuts larger than an increase in the debt ceiling. We will not raise the debt ceiling without structural reforms that restrain further spending and guarantee that we don't get into this mess again. And I am not interested in a temporary band-aid. We have already voted ``no'' on raising our debt limit without significant cuts and reforms.

We will not support a plan that raises taxes on hardworking Americans. We didn't get into this problem because taxes are too low. We are in this situation because of runaway spending and the failed economic policies of this administration.

We need to move forward and solve this crisis in a responsible way.


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