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Cut, Cap, and Balance Act of 2011

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Ms. BASS of California. I would like to thank the ranking member of the Budget Committee, of which I'm very proud to be a member.

I rise in strong opposition to H.R. 2560. I have to tell you, Madam Speaker, that to me it feels like Groundhog Day again here in the House of Representatives. ``Duck, dodge, and dismantle'' is brought to the floor today for a vote. I have to tell you that I've seen this movie before. The storyline rewards the ultrawealthy while punishing working families.

I served as Speaker of the California Assembly while my State staggered from budget crisis to budget crisis. We cut spending drastically--from $110 billion to $83 billion. But every year, California is subject to national ridicule. Why does California have this problem? Well, Madam Speaker, we have a balanced budget requirement in California. We require a two-thirds vote to raise revenue. We can pass tax loopholes and breaks on a simple majority vote.

So how is that working for us in California? Well, I'd like to invite my colleagues on the other side of the aisle to come to California. Every year the State is held hostage. Every year my Republican colleagues attempt to have a cap that is passed similar to the cap that is proposed in this legislation. And every year the State reaches the brink of a shutdown. So why on Earth would we want to import the disfunction from California to the Nation?

We should be dealing with the debt ceiling free and clear. We should not force a default in order to bring about legislation that is not related to the debt ceiling. Our government should not pick winners and losers, which is exactly what will happen if we don't raise the debt ceiling--whether veterans should be paid, if IRS refunds can be honored, if Pell Grants will be available, and if food stamps can be distributed. And that's exactly what would happen if the debt limit is not raised.

I urge a "no'' vote on this bill.


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