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Public Statements

Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2013

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Ms. DeLAURO. Mr. Speaker, I rise in strong opposition to this resolution, which has only marginally improved since the last time we voted on it. This makes deep, permanent, indiscriminate, and harmful sequestration cuts that threaten our economic recovery. These are automatic across-the-board cuts. It hurts our economic recovery and the health and well-being and future of millions of American families.

Both the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke have argued that the sequestration could cost us as many as 750,000 jobs. And that is not all.

This resolution will make unnecessary cuts to vital programs that support families around the country. And these cuts will weigh heaviest on the people we should be helping the most to get back on their feet, the most vulnerable American families still struggling from the Great Recession.

A vote against this resolution is not a vote for a government shutdown. Speaker Boehner has pledged on multiple occasions that he will not let the government shut down. You don't have to support this resolution and sequestration to avoid a shutdown.

If you vote for this resolution, you are voting to undermine the Affordable Care Act by not providing funding to fully implement and ensure access to the health care marketplaces. You are voting to cut $400 million from Head Start. That means cutting early learning and development services from 70,000 children.

You vote to cut $282 million from critical job training programs, cutting services from hundreds of thousands of unemployed and dislocated workers, veterans, and students.

You vote to slash $730 million from Title I grants, cutting Federally funded education services from 2,500 schools and 1 million disadvantaged children. You vote to cut $580 million from special education grants, shifting the cost of educating 30,000 kids to the State and to local education agencies.

You vote to cut more than $1.5 billion from the National Institutes of Health, slowing the pace of research and reducing the number of medical advances we make each year--advances that have the potential to save lives.

You vote to cut $115 million from the Childcare Development Block Grant, further exacerbating the shortage of Federal child assistance by cutting services for 30,000 children.

The list goes on. On top of deep cuts that have already become law, this resolution goes even deeper into every responsibility of good government--public health, research, safety, transportation, you name it. It also includes four egregious provisions related to firearms that would continue to blindfold law enforcement and hamper our ability to combat gun violence.

This is not what the American people want from us. We need to pass a bill that creates jobs, grows the economy, and protects the middle class, seniors, and the most vulnerable. The resolution before us today does none of these things.

You know, whenever we are drafting a budget or debating legislation in the House of Representatives, these are the principles that inform my work as a Member of the Congress.

On Tuesday, in Rome, Pope Francis I asked ``all those who have positions of responsibility in economic, political, and social life'' to also ``be protectors.'' We need to be protectors. We need to continue to carry that vision of service with us and hope that all elected officials heed what the newly invested Pope has called for and work to ensure that our service is truly a service to others.

We need to not put American families at risk. I urge my colleagues to oppose this continuing resolution.


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