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Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2013

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Ms. CLARKE of New York. Mr. Chairman, here we are once again. We find ourselves debating a bill that is under veto threat due to the Republicans my-way-or-the-highway posture.

Mr. Chairman, last month saw the largest drop in construction jobs in 2 years, workers who joined the more than 2.2 million construction workers who are out of work.

However, instead of providing certainty to our Nation's construction workers by investing in the TIGER program and light-speed rail, the Republican majority has actually zeroed these programs out completely. Apparently, the majority seems to only believe in certainty when it means historically low tax rates for multi-millionaires and billionaires.

Mr. Chairman, the majority's lack of investment in our Nation's infrastructure is bad enough. Unfortunately, it gets even worse. At a time when the need for HUD programs is growing, this bill drastically undercuts homeless assistance grants, putting 25,000 Americans at risk of losing assistance. It jeopardizes assistance to homeowners attempting to stay in their homes and actually zeroes out the Choice Neighborhoods program. Why?

Mr. Chairman, why we would essentially eliminate a program that improves economic development and viability and job opportunities for our Nation's most vulnerable is beyond my ability to comprehend.

Mr. Chairman, the American people have made it abundantly clear that the number one priority of the 112th Congress ought to be job creation.

By bringing this bill to the floor, the majority is saying to the American people, not only doesn't their unemployed status or opinions matter, but don't expect any relief from this Republican-led Congress as our Nation struggles to cope with the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression.

Mr. Chairman, this is just totally unbelievable. I yield back the balance of my time.


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