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Public Statements

Issues Facing America

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mrs. SCHMIDT. I thank my good friend Mrs. Ellmers from North Carolina for hosting this Special Order this evening because this is about America's future and about America doing what each and every woman, each and every man, each and every family has to do each and every week at their table, and that's balance the budget and pay the bills.

The greatest President, they say, in the last century was Ronald Reagan. And in his farewell speech, he said, ``All great change in America begins at the dinner table.'' And it does. It's the universe of our home life. It's where we educate our children, where we feed our children, where we stake out the ideas on how we want our future to go, where we plan parties, where we plan events, and where we discuss Grandma's departure. It is the center of our home. And it is from that that I want to focus on what I think needs to be said tonight.

We have to balance our budget in America, in this House, in this Chamber, at this kitchen table. We have all seen what it is to take a checkbook, take the bills, and make them come together. That's what we need to do, and that's what I believe a balanced budget amendment will force this Congress and future Congresses to do: balance our checkbook.

Just like mothers and grandmothers across this country, I have a major stake in the future of our Nation, and that is not just my daughter and her wonderful husband, but my Michael and my Anthony, my wonderful little grandchildren.

My father was the epitome of the American Dream. He came from nothing, but he worked hard and started his business and paid the bills of those businesses at their little, small kitchen table. And he grew that and gave us the opportunity to make sure that what we wanted to accomplish in the United States was available to us. And that's what I did for my daughter. And, you know, when she started her little business, do you know where she started it? At the kitchen table in the house she grew up in. And she's got a thriving little business. But she's got two little children, and we want that American Dream for them.

We've got to get our fiscal house in order. We cannot keep creating the debts and deficits that we are creating in this country. A balanced budget amendment will force us to do the right things for our country just as moms and dads across the Nation have to do all the time at their kitchen tables; that's live within their means.

I urge the Senate to take up the balanced budget amendment. I urge this Chamber to adopt it, I urge the Senate to adopt it, and to make it a reality.


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