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Mr. McGOVERN. I thank the ranking member for the time.
Mr. Speaker, just when I thought the process in this House couldn't get any worse, last night in the Rules Committee the Republicans reached a new low. We originally were told that we were meeting on the Speaker's so-called ``Plan B'' tax bill, which continues the proud Republican tradition of protecting tax cuts for the wealthy at the expense of middle class families and poor people.
But then we were told there would be a new bill, some kind of magical mystery bill that was introduced in the middle of the hearing. Now I'm not sure what to call this one, Plan B.2.0 maybe? Plan C? The We-Don't-Really-Have-a-Plan Plan?
It turns out that the magical mystery bill is similar to the reconciliation bill the Republicans brought to the floor a couple of months ago. That bill was a bad idea then, and it's a bad idea now.
It cuts $36 billion from the SNAP program, taking food off the table of struggling Americans. Millions of households would see a cut in their benefits. Millions of families would have less food tomorrow than they do today. And hundreds of thousands of kids would lose their access to free school meals. That's the Republican idea of a Christmas present. It's enough to make Ebenezer Scrooge embarrassed.
The bill threatens Medicare, children's programs, education, infrastructure. In short, it threatens our economy as a whole. And at the same time, it not only protects the Pentagon budget, It increases it by billions of dollars. Does anyone here really believe there's not a single dollar to be saved anywhere in the Pentagon?
Mr. Speaker, the American people have spoken. They've made it loud and clear that they want a balanced approach. They want an approach that asks the wealthiest, the most fortunate Americans, to pay a little bit more, and that protects our seniors, our children, and our most vulnerable neighbors. But the Republican leadership of this House refuses to listen.
Mr. Speaker, let me say another thing about this process. I would say to my Republican freshman colleagues that you rode to power on a wave of outrage over the way the House conducts its business. I remember the lectures and the promises and the things that you said would change. I would say to those freshmen: you own this now. You have officially become part of the problem, if not the problem.
A vote for this rule is a vote for an outrageous abuse of power and a vote against transparency and openness, and it's a vote against accountability.
Finally, Mr. Speaker, let me just say this. My Republican friends have made it unfashionable to worry about the poor and the elderly and the vulnerable. That's crystal clear in the text of what we're debating here today. I urge my colleagues not to turn your backs on the most needy. Let's balance our budget in a way that doesn't lower the quality of life or decrease the standard of living for people of this country. We can do so much better. Instead of doing this, you should be negotiating with the President. Go back to the negotiating table and stop the games.
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