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Public Statements


Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC

Mr. KENNEDY. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to urge my colleagues to come together and avoid sequestration. Make no mistake: These cuts aren't just fodder for newspaper headlines. They are real. They are deep. And they will hurt.

Back home in my district in Taunton, Massachusetts, we have an active chapter of Jumpstart, a national literacy organization that pairs community volunteers with low-income preschool children. They operate in tandem with the local Head Start. If sequestration happens, over 70,000 children across the country could lose access to Head Start--1,500 in Massachusetts--jeopardizing the ability of Jumpstart to continue offering their services. On top of that, the organization is run on the hard work of volunteers, most of whom come through Federal work-study programs--800 jobs lost in Massachusetts alone--or AmeriCorps--$38 million in cuts across the board.

Those are big numbers. But for a moment forget the numbers. The numbers are just a succinct way of saying there's a 4-year-old girl in Taunton, Massachusetts, whose single mother depends on Jumpstart to get her child up to speed for kindergarten while she works two jobs to keep food on the table.

Our budget is in difficult shape. It will require tough choices to clean up. But they have to be smart choices, worthy of our constituents back home who put their faith and trust in each and every one of us.

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