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Public Statements

American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. BLUMENAUER. This evening, we're expected to vote on an item that has many commendable and important items. Unfortunately, too many are of short duration, much is left out, and most importantly we're losing a real opportunity for reform.

The SGR is left in a year to torment medical providers again. The AMT, I'm pleased, is patched--I appreciate the advocacy of my friend, Mr. Neal. But, in fact, we all know that it should, at a minimum, be reformed, if not repealed.

We have a body blow to the alternative energy industry, and somehow it's given a year's reprieve, but it's not what they need or what they deserve. And because we refuse, at a moment of opportunity, to deal meaningfully with the national debt--and remember, the budget from my Republican friends, authored by my colleague, Mr. Ryan, would have required $6 trillion headroom in the debt ceiling.

Now, we cannot continue to have the world's largest and most expensive military by far, the lowest taxes of any of the major economies, the most expensive and inefficient health care, and continue to allow our country's infrastructure to fall apart while America ages and grows.

This proposal represents absolutely the least we could have done under these circumstances and, tragically, institutionalizes for the next Congress the madness around here of short-term frenzy around self-inflicted deadlines that have no reality to them. That drives the American public crazy, and with good reason.

Not only can we do better, I would suggest that we must do better.


Mr. BLUMENAUER. It's probably going to pass with overwhelming bipartisan support. So be it. I can only hope that, in that spirit of taking a risk on both sides of the aisle--and both parties and the administration--that the administration and the new Congress gets serious about reform and delivering services more cost-effectively in ways, ironically, that people on both sides of the aisle agree with that are absent in this proposal.


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