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Public Statements

Budget and Accounting Transparency Act of 2012

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. PASCRELL. Madam Chair, with regard to the title of this legislation, the Budget and Accounting Transparency Act, maybe they should have stopped there, Madam Chair, because the rest of the bill is not transparency at all. We still want to deal in the mist, we still want to believe that if we don't pay our bills and if we don't pay the bills that we have, the Federal Government, that everything is going to be all right. The bond rating agencies don't think so, nor does anyone else. So when you put the country in jeopardy of not paying its own bills, here is who you hurt: you hurt the middle class, you hurt the working poor, and you hurt the poor.

This bill is nothing more than a backdoor method to politicize and eliminate important Federal investments. They've been trying to do that, Madam Chair, for 4 years. It hurts the middle class, hurts the working folks, and it hurts the economy.

The use of the fair value accounting is the ax that these extreme methods will take to spending on our education, our small businesses, and the next generation of clean technology. This bill that we are discussing right now requires that certain programs that make loans, whether they be student loans, Small Business Administration loans, or Department of Energy loans for clean energy projects, be scored to cost more than the government actually spends. And you don't even deny it.

In short, fair value accounting doesn't call a nickel a nickel, it calls it 10 cents. Artificially inflating spending levels in loan payments, in loan programs, puts the squeeze on important Federal programs that families rely on, particularly in difficult times.

You can laugh all you want, Madam Chair, but this is the truth. Families are being squeezed out there. And I know that you know--you know--Madam Chair, that this is important to the daily living of folks that you represent and I represent. And I'm not getting personal. I'm saying that we, as representatives, have got to represent the people in our district whether they're hurting or not. And I understand that we've had many bills on the floor of this House in the past 3 years to squeeze the economy. And what has it resulted in? You squeezed the States, you squeezed the municipalities--


Mr. PASCRELL. You squeezed them so they lay off police officers, they lay off teachers, and they lay off firefighters, and you're telling America, Madam Chair, don't worry about it, this will all be over, this is simply that we all have to have shared pain. Yeah, sure, shared.

This bill will jeopardize our economic recovery by putting the brakes on the housing market. It would bring us closer to another debt ceiling debate. Madam Chair, I think that's where we want to head, some of us: let's have another debate over the debt ceiling, let's have another debate as to whether we should pay our bills so we can shut down the place.

For you to preside over and get folks to believe that if you shut the government down, maybe that wouldn't be so bad either, not paying our debts wouldn't be so bad, I don't know what planet we're living on. This country needs pro-growth economic policies. We need to take action, and the action we should take is to vote down this transparency act.


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