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Public Statements

American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. RANGEL. This is no profile in courage for me to be voting for this bill. It reminds me of the joke we use to have on Lennox Avenue, where someone stopped hitting you on the head with a hammer and you're supposed to say, ``Thank you so much for the relief.''

We created this monster. We're the ones that have said--at least the Congress has said in the majority in the House--do what you have to do but, for God's sake, don't ask the top 2 percent of the wealthiest people in this civilized country to pay their fair share. And while you're thinking about taxing people, why don't you start talking about cutting people off from unemployment compensation? Why don't you think about not providing so much for the sick and the aged? Why don't you start privatizing these things?

This was not the America that I knew when I came to the Congress. This was something that a handful of people from nowhere came here and started preaching that we had to destroy Big Government and the vulnerable who had no lobbyists, who had no one to come to, were saved by us, by responsible people who came together and said, basically, Have you lost your mind? What are you doing? How can you go home and tell the people this is what you created?

And so we paused and common sense has prevailed, and we can at least go back home and say, Not now, but they're coming again.

They have all types of words that they're using, like the debt ceiling, but all it means is that they're coming after us and they're coming after the President. They'll be talking about sequestration. What will it mean? Cutting benefits from people that need them the most.

And with all due regards to the other body for once doing what the House could not get together in doing, we never even saw how they paid for some of these things, things that we would have handled differently when we had to pay for those doctors who work very hard for the Medicare. And people say, Well, how are you paying for them? And everyone had amnesia in not knowing. Well, after it's over, they'll get paid, but this Congress will make certain that the providers of health care are not penalized for this Congress doing the right thing.


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