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Department of Defense, Military Construction and Veterans Affairs, and Full-Year Continuing Appropriations Act, 2013

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Ms. WASSERMAN SCHULTZ. Mr. Speaker, I rise with grave concerns over the continuing resolution that we are considering today.

While we all support any effort to prevent a government shutdown, we await a bill from the Senate that hopefully treats domestic and defense bills with equal care.

There is no question that our men and women serving in Afghanistan deserve our support, but so do our children here in America. Yet the CR underfunds Head Start by $70 million, even though both House and Senate fiscal year 2013 bills provide significant increases for the program through our regular budget process.

In addition to underfunding many domestic programs, like the Affordable Care Act and the Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children, the CR does nothing to stop the across-the-board budget cuts in the sequester for any agency, including Defense.

I still hope we can work together to replace these indiscriminate, meat-ax cuts with a balanced approach so we can avoid compromising our future through lack of investments in education, infrastructure, defense and public safety. Sequester cuts will be like slowly turning up the heat to boil a pot of water.

Thankfully, the House is bringing this bill to the floor in time for the Senate to act and pass a bill for the March 27 deadline for the continuing resolution that will take a responsible, balanced approach to deficit reduction with targeted spending cuts and closing tax loopholes for the wealthy so we can use the revenue and the spending cuts to pay down our debt.

Mr. Speaker, taking an indiscriminate, meat-ax approach to the sequester, to reducing our deficit in a balanced way is irresponsible. We must work together. I implore our friends on the other side of the aisle to come together and work together with us towards compromise so that we can avoid gravely harming our domestic priorities, including women, children, families, and the middle class. It is still possible, and there is still time.


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