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Public Statements

Sequester

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

Ms. SCHWARTZ. There are just 2 days that are left for Congress to work together to avert these very deep, across-the-board, automatic cuts to our domestic priorities.

The Obama administration released a State-by-State report outlining the harmful impact these cuts would have on middle class families, on jobs and on economic growth. Yet Republicans continue to reject any balanced approach to deficit reduction presented by House and Senate Democrats, which includes spending cuts, additional revenues and economic growth. Moving from crisis to crisis does not move us any closer to finding a long-term solution to deficit reduction. Instead, these crises cause uncertainty, inhibit private sector investment, undermine consumer confidence, and slow economic growth.

In Pennsylvania, thousands of jobs in both the public and private sectors are at risk of elimination due to the inaction of House Republicans--from elementary school teachers to scientific researchers. Here are just a few examples:

Sharon Easterling, who is the executive director of the Delaware Valley Association for the Education of Young Children, said that Republican inaction would hurt Pennsylvania's children as ``nearly 2,300 Head Start children will lose access to preschool almost immediately'';

Holly Lange, who is the president of the Philadelphia Corporation for Aging, said:

These cuts may force the Philadelphia Corporation for Aging to limit vital transportation services for our seniors, who depend on shared rides to remain independent in their homes;

Cinda Waldbuesser, the senior Pennsylvania program manager for the National Parks Conservation Center, said:

Every national park in the system would be affected, including treasured places like Gettysburg, Independence Hall and Valley Forge, and the local economies that depend on visitor spending would also suffer.

The President and House and Senate Democrats have put forth a balanced solution that would replace the across-the-board cuts with a plan that does cut spending but that raises revenues and builds economic opportunity for all of us in this Nation. Republicans have yet to offer a balanced plan or to be willing to engage in the serious discussions of a reasonable bipartisan alternative for our seniors, our children, our first responders, our teachers, our civilian workers in the Department of Defense, our law enforcement officers, our public health professionals, our qualified medical researchers--who research not only at NIH but at medical centers across our country--and business owners who are seeking loan guarantees.

I could go on and on. You've heard some of the examples, but the fact is that all Americans are counting on us to act. It is our responsibility to act, and we should.

I urge my Republican colleagues to reject their partisan, one-sided approach and to be willing to work with us to find common ground and to reach a solution to deficit reduction that takes a balanced approach; that respects our obligation to Americans, particularly our seniors and our children; that strengthens the middle class; that creates certainty for the business community and for our middle class consumers; and that creates opportunities for families and businesses across the country.

The meeting called this morning by the President is an opportunity to find that solution, and I encourage Republicans to take this moment seriously, to be willing to compromise in order to avert these cuts and to set us on a path to both deficit reduction and economic growth. It is not too late. It is increasingly almost too late, but let's get it done on behalf of the American people and our future.


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