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Public Statements

Budget Control Act of 2011

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. JACKSON of Illinois. Soon my colleagues will be quoting Dr. King's ``I Have a Dream'' speech, and here's a quote they will not read and they will ignore: ``In a sense, we've come to our Nation's Capital to cash a check. When the architects of our Republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men, yes, black men as well as white men, would be guaranteed the `unalienable rights' of `life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.'

``It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note in so far as her citizens of color are concerned. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the people a bad check, a check which has come back marked `insufficient funds.' ''

But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. The problem, Mr. Chairman, is not that we spend. It's that we don't honor our obligations. We are a Nation that spends billions of dollars to put a man on the Moon, fund the war in Afghanistan, fund the war in Iraq, but we can't find the money in this Congress to put a man on his own two feet right here in America.

And there is something more fundamental, Mr. Speaker, that is going on here. This President is being treated differently than other Presidents. No other President has been ``stook up,'' shook down, or held hostage as this President of the United States over this debt vote. This is fundamentally unfair, Mr. Speaker, to change the rules in the middle of the game.


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